Washington, D.C.– The Environmental Protection Agency’s “endangerment finding” announcement today comes on the first day of international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark and is part of a pattern of politically-timed announcements on greenhouse gas regulations from the EPA, said U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
“It’s ironic that the EPA first proposed its endangerment finding just as the House was beginning to debate the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax bill. Now, it is finalizing the finding just in time for President Obama to travel to Copenhagen. The EPA claims its process is dictated by science, however, it’s conveniently timed to push its politics,” Sensenbrenner said.
In its rush to reach a finding that greenhouse gases are an endangerment to the environment, the EPA operated on an accelerated timeline and ignored the report of an agency analyst who raised questions about the scientific case for the regulations, a report by the Republican staffs of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform concluded.
The report found that the EPA gave itself just over two weeks to develop the scientific background for what was perhaps the largest regulatory finding in history. When Dr. Alan Carlin, a 37-year EPA veteran, offered a scientific report that attempted to update the agency’s nearly two-year old record, his office director responded, “Your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.”
The report showed that the EPA released the endangerment finding just before the House of Representatives began debate on cap-and-tax legislation that – according to the National Association of Manufacturers – would result in 2.4 million lost jobs, a 50 percent jump in electricity rates and a 26 percent spike in gas prices.
After the release in November of hundreds of e-mails from climate researchers that showed a pattern of suppression, manipulation and secrecy, Sensenbrenner and other members of Congress asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to halt work on the endangerment finding and other climate regulations until the EPA can “demonstrate the science underlying these regulatory decisions has not been compromised.” Jackson did not respond to the letter.
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