Senate GOP press EPA over ozone effort

Republican senators are pushing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to calculate and disclose the amount of money the agency spent on a failed effort to issue tough standards for smog.

In 2010, the EPA tried to issue a new air quality regulation on ozone, the main component of smog, but President Obama ordered a stop to the effort the following year. The decision was a major blow to environmentalists at the time.

ADVERTISEMENT
Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsFederal judge rules Trump defunding sanctuary cities 'unconstitutional on its face' FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Alabama election has GOP racing against the clock MORE (R-Ala.) asked the EPA how much money was spent trying to revise the standard in 2011, but the agency “has evaded providing a response” ever since, he and seven other Senate Republicans wrote in a letter to the EPA on Tuesday.

“We can only conclude, in the face of repeated refusals to respond to or acknowledge a legitimate question about how taxpayer money has been spent by EPA, that EPA either seeks to thwart our oversight role in this matter or cannot answer the question,” they wrote. “Either explanation is deeply troubling.”

They note that the cost estimate should account for staffers working on the revision effort, public hearings held across the country and payments to outside scientists and consultants.

By law, the EPA is required to review its standards on ozone every five years and update them if necessary. It last issued a standard in 2008, though, so the administration shelved the 2011 effort to perform a full review this year. That effort is still in the works.

In addition to Sessions, Sens. David VitterDavid VitterQuestions loom over Franken ethics probe You're fired! Why it's time to ditch the Fed's community banker seat Overnight Energy: Trump set to propose sharp cuts to EPA, energy spending MORE (R-La.), Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenators tear into controversial Trump environment nominee McCain backs Pentagon nominee despite concerns over defense industry ties GOP senators ask Trump for meeting on biofuels mandate MORE (R-Okla.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoPruitt to testify on EPA agenda at House, Senate hearings Overnight Energy: Senate confirms top EPA air regulator | Feds to roll back emissions rule for big trucks | Defense bill mandates climate study Senate confirms top air regulator at EPA MORE (R-Wyo.), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoScott Garrett poses real threat to EXIM Bank, small businesses Usually friendly, GOP may anger big banks with tax plans Overnight Finance: Trump calls for ObamaCare mandate repeal, cuts to top tax rate | Trump to visit Capitol Hill in tax reform push | CBO can't do full score before vote | Bipartisan Senate bill would ease Dodd-Frank rules MORE (R-Idaho), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerUS warship collides with Japanese tug boat FCC votes to limit program funding internet access for low-income communities Senate passes resolution requiring mandatory sexual harassment training MORE (R-Miss.), John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanLobbying World The Hill's Whip List: Republicans try again on ObamaCare repeal GOP senator undergoing follow-up surgery next week MORE (R-Ark.) and Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerOvernight Health Care: Mandate repeal sparks fears of premium hikes | HHS nominee to get Senate hearing this month | Trump officials eye work requirements for Medicaid recipients Overnight Regulation: Senators unveil bipartisan gun background check bill | FCC rolls back media regs | Family leave credit added to tax bill | Senate confirms banking watchdog Family leave tax credit added to latest GOP tax bill MORE (R-Neb.) signed Tuesday’s letter.