“Many of EPA's regulations have big price tags. Yet EPA refuses to publicize the basic scientific data underlying virtually all of what they have done,” Vitter said. “The new Clean Air Act rules are the biggest example. Implementing the Clean Air Act happens to be the responsibility, by the way, that Gina McCarthy has been directly overseeing.”
McCarthy is President Obama’s nominee to succeed Lisa Jackson as EPA administrator.
But Vitter said the EPA is using “manipulated data” in its analysis, without expanding further.
“The National Ambient Air Quality Standards, for example, are complex and sweeping in their nature. The law requires, as it should, that they be based on sound scientific data and that it be implemented through a robust decision-making process,” he said. “Unfortunately, that has not been the case and recent standards have suffered from a rushed process, reliance on secret data, and biased scientific review.”
The debate over the merits of cost-benefit analysis remains hotly contested, with critics claiming that the numbers can be skewed to overstate costs or benefits. Many of the benefits of EPA's regulations are hard to translate into monetary terms, according to public interest groups, leading them to be undervalued.
The EPA did not respond to requests for comment.