06.29.17

Senator Lankford, Rep. Jenkins Introduce Social Cost of Carbon Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV) today introduced the Transparency and Honesty in Energy Regulations Act, a bill to prohibit the federal government from using the flawed social cost of carbon, social cost of methane, social cost of nitrous oxide, or the social cost of any other greenhouse gas metrics in the rulemaking process. 

These social cost of greenhouse gas metrics are theoretical measurements to try to put a price or economic impact on emissions. The measurement theories have been used in the federal government to determine the economic impact of potential federal regulations, even though they are unscientific and can result in more burdensome regulations. The Transparency and Honesty in Energy Regulations Act would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Interior Department, and the Council on Environmental Quality from using the social cost of carbon, social cost of methane, and social cost of nitrous oxide as rationales for their regulations. Instead, the bill would require those agencies to use Office of Management and Budget guidelines when developing energy and environmental rules. This bill builds upon the recent March 28 Executive Order (#13783) that canceled the government’s use of these metrics.

“Many recent significant regulatory actions regarding energy and environmental policy have been based, in part, on a ‘social cost’ calculation that lacked transparency and oversight,” said Lankford. “The Transparency and Honesty in Energy Regulations Act is needed to ensure that strong regulatory analysis and fact-based scientific standards are applied to how energy regulations are created. The President’s March 28 Executive Order is a positive step, but we must ensure that future administrations do not return to flawed metrics. Congressional action is needed to make these policies law, so that future rulemakings adhere to guidance and the Executive Branch does not reach beyond their authority no matter who controls the White House.”

“The Obama administration used biased estimates like the social cost of carbon to push through its anti-coal regulations,” said Jenkins. “These models hide the true economic costs of the EPA’s energy and environmental rules, which have eliminated jobs in West Virginia and raised the price of electricity for families. I appreciate that President Trump has put an immediate stop to these damaging regulations, and this legislation will ensure that no future administration can hide behind flawed metrics to justify their regulations. I appreciate Senator Lankford’s leadership on this issue in the Senate and look forward to seeing more of our colleagues join us in supporting this important bill.”

Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Barrasso (R-WY), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) are original cosponsors of this bill in the Senate. In the House, original cosponsors are Reps. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Rob Bishop (R-UT), John Culberson (R-TX), Bill Flores (R-TX), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Darin LaHood (R-IL), David McKinley (R-WV), and Steve Womack (R-AR).

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