Washington, D.C., - U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, today urged the House of Representatives to investigate how the Environmental Protection Agency reached the conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions could be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
In response to a recently-released Office of Management and Budget memo raising questions about the EPA’s conclusions, Sensenbrenner introduced a resolution requesting the White House to provide additional information on how the EPA arrived at its April “endangerment finding” that would give the agency the authority to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases.“The last thing our economy needs right now is to be the target of EPA meddling,” Sensenbrenner said. “Everyone knows that regulating greenhouse gases will be enormously expensive and cause great harm to the economy. Apparently, even President Obama’s own OMB shares these concerns and Congress deserves to know how the EPA reached these conclusions.”The resolution asks the White House and the EPA to provide to the House of Representatives all telephone records, e-mails, logs, calendar entries, and records of internal discussions relating to the EPA’s finding and the subsequent OMB memo. Additionally, the resolution also requests any records of cost benefit and systematic risk analysis of the EPA’s finding, as well as any scientific evidence or opinion that demonstrates the health effects of greenhouse gases.The OMB memo was widely circulated in the media this week because it raised several questions about how the EPA produced the “endangerment finding” on greenhouse gases. Reports said the OMB memo concluded that regulating greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act “is likely to have serious economic consequences for regulated entities throughout the U.S. economy, including small businesses and small communities.”Several recent analysis show that efforts to regulate greenhouse gases would have immense impact on the economy and lead to job losses. A recent report by the Heritage Foundation on congressional legislation to regulate greenhouse gases shows this bill could destroy as many as 1.9 million jobs and will cause electricity rates to rise by 90 percent, gasoline by 74 percent, and raise the average family’s electricity bill by $1,500 a year.
“I have repeatedly expressed many concerns about the economic consequences of this poorly-conceived policy by the EPA, and it looks like I’m not the only one,” Sensenbrenner said. “If other officials in the Administration are also concerned that the EPA is muzzling economists, then the White House should not hesitate to produce all relevant information regarding the EPA’s finding.”
Under House rules, the resolution has to be considered by the committee with jurisdiction within 14 legislative days. Sensenbrenner said he expects the resolution to be referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. If the committee fails to act on the resolution, then it can be moved directly to the House floor for a vote.