Senate GOP presses EPA on climate models

A group of Senate Republicans is pressing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to explain the climate change models it uses for its regulations.

Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsTrump hopes for boost from Brexit vote GOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call Sessions warns of 'radical' Clinton immigration policy MORE (R-Ala.) wrote the letter after a March hearing at which he challenged EPA head Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyOvernight Energy: Volkswagen reaches .7B settlement over emissions Volkswagen reaches .7B settlement for emissions cheating Dozens of senators push EPA for higher ethanol mandate MORE to answer specific questions about whether the models her agency uses have correctly predicted various climate events.

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“Although questions regarding the impacts of climate change were clear and straightforward, none of the questions received direct answers, and many responses contained caveats and conditions,” Sessions wrote in the Wednesday letter, which was also signed by Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), all members of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which hosted the hearing.

“We write today to emphasize that these questions were not posed lightly or in passing,” they wrote.

“Given that the administration’s proposal to fundamentally change the nature of domestic electricity generation is based on the apparent need to avoid ‘devastating’ climate impacts to the United States and the planet, it is imperative that the agency be candid and forthright in assessing the reality of this projection.”

The letter presents the conclusions of various historical climate models and asks if McCarthy endorses the findings, some of which have not panned out.

EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia said the agency stands by the science it uses.

“The scientific record and numerous lines of evidence all point to the reality of climate change — projecting with specificity the severity and location of various impacts notwithstanding, climate change is real, it threatens our health, security, or environment and our economy, and that’s why the administration is moving forward with solutions that both address the threat, increase our communities’ resilience, and leave a better world for future generations,” she said.

The EPA will respond to the senators’ specific questions, Purchia said.