GOP lawmakers ask for study on increased ‘social cost’ of carbon

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“As openness and transparency in rulemaking are not only legally required but also a stated goal of the administration, we direct our inquiry to the process and methods used by the Interagency Working Group for crafting and developing the [social cost of carbon] estimates.”

Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), John Culberson (R-Texas) and Sen. David Vitter (La.), the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, want the GAO to investigate how the administration developed the new value, who they consulted and whether the process complied with federal guidance on developing regulatory analyses.

In June, the Obama administration released an increased estimate for the monetary effect of carbon emissions on public health, the environment and agriculture. The new value was tucked into an otherwise non-controversial rule on microwave oven efficiency standards. 

Republicans and Democrats alike have questioned whether the administration was too secretive when it developed the new metric, which will be applied to determine the monetary costs and benefits of new rules involving carbon emissions. 

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