Chairman Smith: EPA Muzzling Scientists

Today, along with all 20 Republican Science, Space, and Technology Committee members, I sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy highlighting serious problems with the agency’s proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for power plants. Specifically, the Committee members pointed out that any EPA rule requiring the capture of carbon must address where the carbon is stored.

Recently, the Work Group charged with reviewing EPA’s major regulatory actions recommended a review of the science underpinning the newest power plant rule. The 88-page recommendation highlighted the fact that EPA rushed ahead with its NSPS proposal without waiting for the advice of the agency’s independent scientists and that the underlying science lacked adequate peer review. However, when these problems were raised, a senior official at EPA deflected the scientists criticisms by claiming that the rule doesn’t need to address carbon dioxide storage.

We are concerned about the agency’s apparent disregard for the concerns of its science advisors. Science is a valuable tool to help policymakers navigate complex issues. However, when inconvenient facts are disregarded or when dissenting voices are muzzled, a frank discussion becomes impossible. The EPA cannot continue to rush ahead with costly regulations without allowing time for a real-world look at the science.

The claim that the rule doesn’t need to address storage concerns highlights your agency’s continued lack of transparency and consistent attempts to avoid accountability. The EPA’s proposed power plant regulations will put Americans out of work and will make electricity more expensive and less reliable. It is misleading and dangerous for EPA to quietly dismiss inconvenient facts and ignore the consequences of its costly regulations. Americans deserve honesty.

I was joined by the following Republican members in sending today’s letter: Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ralph M. Hall (R-Texas), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Michael T. McCaul (R-Texas), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Steve Stockman (R-Texas), and Randy Weber (R-Texas).



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