19 sens question EPA methodology behind Clean Power Plan repeal

19 sens question EPA methodology behind Clean Power Plan repeal
© Greg Nash

Nineteen Democratic senators issued a letter to EPA administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: EPA halts surprise inspections of power, chemical plants | Regulators decline to ban pesticide linked to brain damage | NY awards country's largest offshore wind energy contracts EPA allows continued use of pesticide linked with brain damage Overnight Energy: Trump officials gut DC staff for public lands agency to move West | Democrats slam EPA over scientific boards | Deepwater Horizon most litigated environmental issue of decade MORE on Thursday, questioning his methodology and logic for repealing the Clean Power Plan. 

"At seemingly every turn, the 2017 Repeal proposal uses mathematical sleights of hand to over-state the costs of industry compliance with the 2015 Rule and understate the benefits that will be lost if the 2017 repeal is finalized," the letter reads, referring to the repeal of former President Obama's landmark climate change policy. 

"Denying the science and fabricating the math may satisfy the agency's paperwork requirements, but doing so will not satisfy the requirements of the law, nor will it slow the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, the inexorable rise in sea levels, or the other dire effects of global warming that our planet is already experiencing," the senators wrote.

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The letter specifically questions the repeal's stance on the health effects of pollution, its overstatement of the cost of the Clean Power Plan, and the understatement of the plan's benefits. 

The list of signatories includes Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisPoll: Biden leads 2020 Democratic field by 15 points, followed by Sanders and Warren Democrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission Biden announces plan to counteract mass incarceration MORE (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenGillibrand says she doesn't regret calling for Franken to resign Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Trump's new labor chief alarms Democrats, unions MORE (D-Minn.).

The senators' letter comes after the Trump administration announced earlier this month that it would repeal the rule, which was a key component of the U.S. commitment to reduce emissions under the Paris climate change accord.

“The Clean Power Plan, it wasn’t about regulating to make things regular,” Pruitt said, adding "It was truly about regulating to pick winners and losers.”

Pruitt argued that the rule exceeded the previous administration’s authority and treated coal communities unfairly.