Energy & Environment

GOP Rep. Hunter: Administration changing calculations to justify new rules

{mosads}Hunter added, “And not long after, the President pulls the curtain back on a new agenda that will lean heavily on rule making, and now there’s a clear line of sight into the Administration’s plans. There must be a more transparent process, allowing the public and industry to weigh-in on something so significant. That’s something everyone can support, including those who support putting a higher cost on carbon emissions.”

Last month, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) changed the way it calculates the effect of carbon pollution on health, property and other areas, dubbed the social cost of emissions.

In the little-noticed move, the office raised the value from $21 to $35 per metric ton of the emissions in an otherwise largely anodyne rule on microwave efficiency.

Because of the change, government attempts to cut back on carbon emissions, such as President Obama’s recent call to limit emissions from new and existing power plants, could be calculated to have a greater economic benefit.

After the OMB announcement, Hunter and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) introduced a bill requiring a 60-day public review period for new analyses of a rule’s impacts, costs and benefits. The legislation, the Cost-Benefit and Regulatory Transparency Enhancement Act, would also require agencies to publish a report on the methods used in studies of new rules.

In a statement at the time, Hunter said “There should be an opportunity for public review and comment, so that industry and stakeholders can weigh in and provide feedback on cost-benefit analyses and key methods, including the social cost of carbon.”

Last week, the Obama administration released its spring agenda for new regulations, which included plans to regulate new sources of pollution. 

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