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 PruittEPA employees push 'bill of rights' to protect scientific integrity EPA's independent science board questions underpinnings of numerous agency rollbacks Overnight Energy: Rate of new endangered species listings falls | EPA approves use of 'cyanide bombs' to protect livestock | Watchdog says EPA didn't conduct required analyses 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 HarrisDemocrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change MORE (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenBill Press: Don't forget about Amy Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Al Franken mocks McConnell: 'Like listening to Jeffrey Dahmer complain about the decline of dinner party etiquette' 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.