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It’s the EPA vs. Science

Jun 22, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. –  The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology today held a hearing titled Ensuring Sound Science at EPA to examine the science behind the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent regulatory activities.

The EPA has issued several rules, including its Clean Power Plan, Waters of the U.S., and its ozone regulations, that are backed by the agency’s political agenda, not sound science. These regulations will hurt American industry and cost unreasonable amounts to implement, all for little to no environmental benefit.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “This Committee’s investigations have revealed an EPA that intentionally chooses to ignore good science. EPA cherry-picks the science that fits its agenda and ignores the science that does not support its position. When the science falls short, EPA resorts to a propaganda campaign designed to mislead the public.

“A glaring example is the president’s so-called Clean Power Plan. This plan is nothing more than a ‘Power Grab’ to give the government more control over Americans’ daily lives. This regulation stifles economic growth, destroys American jobs, and increases energy prices. That means costs will rise – from electricity to gasoline to food, disproportionately hurting low income Americans. Even EPA data shows that this regulation would reduce sea level rise by only 1/100th of an inch, the thickness of three sheets of paper. The Clean Power Plan represents massive costs without significant benefits. In other words, it’s all pain and no gain.”

Click here to watch Chairman Smith’s full statement.

Chairman Smith went on to question Administrator McCarthy on the president’s unilateral agreement to the Paris Climate Deal, the cornerstone of which is EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Scientists estimate that the Clean Power Plan will prevent the global temperature from rising a negligible one degree Celsius over the next 85 years and will cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs and hurt American industry.

Chairman Smith asked, “Why punish the American people if it’s not going to have any significant impact on climate change?” Administrator McCarthy responded by saying, “I think it’s about leadership…” Chairman Smith explained that higher energy costs, slower economic growth and lost jobs, all results of the Clean Power Plan, is indeed punishment to our citizens. When the administrator claimed that EPA’s analysis doesn’t show those results, Chairman Smith replied, “Then it’s you against all these other scientists.” Click here to watch the full exchange.

Members also raised questions about the EPA’s April 2016 posting and subsequent removal from its website of its final report on the chemical Glyphosate, prepared by EPA’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC). In March of 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also conducted an evaluation of glyphosate. EPA sent officials to participate in conducting the IARC study. In several instances, the CARC report appears to dispute the findings of the IARC report. Administrator McCarthy indicated that the EPA employees named as involved in the IARC report were not actually involved. Members then showed an email between EPA employees and IARC employees discussing their participation in the matter.

Members also asked Administrator McCarthy about the agency’s proposed ozone standards that are estimated to cost taxpayers millions of dollars and could be unachievable in certain areas, due to naturally occurring ozone levels. Members explained that their districts would be unable to comply with EPA’s ozone standards and maintain economic stability.

Committee members brought up allegations that EPA employees use their personal email accounts to conduct official business to evade Congressional oversight, which is a violation of the Federal Records Act.

Also discussed were several additional EPA actions that are not backed by sound science: the Waters of the U.S. Rule (WOTUS); its racecar regulation; the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS); and the decision to block Pebble Mine. The EPA’s reliance on politics rather than sound science is evidenced by its recent efforts to block the Pebble Mine Project from development before it even applied for a permit. Chairman Smith stated, “The Committee’s investigation of the agency’s decision to embark on a premature and unprecedented decision to stop the Pebble Mine has shown that career EPA officials acted with blatant bias to determine the outcome.”

For more information about today’s hearing, including the webcast and witness testimony, visit the Committee’s website.

114th Congress