NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

One More Reason to Reject Climate Change Regulation

November 29, 2011

In September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a report by its Office of Inspector General (OIG) stating that the EPA's technical support document (TSD) on greenhouse gas emissions violated federal standards.  The TSD provided the scientific backbone and technical analysis for the EPA's 2009 "endangerment finding," which gave the EPA authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.  The significance of the finding being invalidated should not be underestimated, and should reinforce efforts to rein in out-of-control regulatory powers, says Nicolas Loris, a policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation.

  • Among the failures of the EPA in creating its TSD was the fact that it did not publish its findings for public review -- if it had, it might have discovered the true amount of contrasting science that the public might have brought to the forefront.
  • Additionally, the TSD violates federal codes because one member of the 12-person panel that created the document was an EPA employee.
  • The failure of the TSD and the unwillingness of the EPA to compromise its goals of limiting carbon emissions are even more egregious when it is recognized that the EPA continued along this path despite numerous calls from climatologically-motivated sources that called into question the validity of its climate change data.

This is a clear example of the fact that the EPA, in the absence of checks on its power, is capable of pushing the boundaries far beyond what was intended by Congress.  Furthermore, in addition to relying on data and facts that are questionable, the EPA's emissions-slashing policies are extremely damaging in that they hurt economic growth and also that they fail to significantly reduce emissions.

  • American efforts to reduce emissions unilaterally are insignificant on a global scale, as the burgeoning economies of China and India produce enough emissions to eliminate American gains.
  • Higher energy prices faced by energy companies and regular businesses will ultimately be paid by American consumers by driving up prices.
  • Many businesses, seeking to avoid artificially inflated energy prices from EPA regulations, will likely relocate to other countries, causing a net loss of American jobs.

For these reasons, EPA regulations on emissions will stunt economic growth with little environmental gain, and should therefore be subject to strict scrutiny. 

Source: Nicolas Loris, "New EPA Inspector General Report: One More Reason to Reject Climate Change Regulation," Heritage Foundation, November 16, 2011.

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