Shaheen, Hassan to EPA: Show Your Work on Clean Power Plan Repeal

October 30, 2017

Senators Shaheen and Hassan joined their Senate colleagues to press EPA Administrator Pruitt on agency’s use of skewed science and math to justify repealing the 2015 Clean Power Plan

Washington, DC – Last week, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senate Democrats and sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt asking for more information on the agency’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan. The proposal, released by the agency earlier this month, relies heavily on skewed scientific and mathematical data in order to justify repealing the Clean Power Plan.

The senators wrote, “Our review of the 2017 Repeal proposal reveals significant deficiencies associated with the cost-benefit analysis used to support the 2015 Rule’s repeal. At seemingly every turn, the 2017 Repeal proposal uses mathematical sleights of hand to over-state the costs of industry compliance with the 2015 Rule and under-state the benefits that will be lost if the 2017 Repeal is finalized. Denying the science and fabricating the math may satisfy the agency’s paperwork requirements, but doing so will not satisfy the requirements of the law, nor will it slow the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, the inexorable rise in sea levels, or the other dire effects of global warming that our planet is already experiencing. It will also not improve our standing in the international community or bring certainty to power markets as states plan for their future energy needs.”

The senators continued, “Your rejection of the scientific consensus that greenhouse gas pollution causes global warming is well-known. Additionally, we continue to await your response to the April 7, 2017 letter requesting more details about your views related to the cause of global warming and the agency’s plan to repeal and replace the 2015 Clean Power Plan Rule. Our review of the 2017 Repeal proposal only heightens our concerns.”

This is not the first time the EPA, under Scott Pruitt’s leadership, has attempted to skew the facts to achieve a desired outcome. In April, a Bloomberg news report showed that the analysis of EPA career staff regarding pending legislation was eliminated entirely from the official comments that the agency ultimately submitted to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Additionally, reports in The New York Times revealed that political appointees at the EPA directed career scientists to delete the Clean Water Rule’s $500 million in economic benefits from a regulatory package that the agency submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. 

Earlier this month, Senator Shaheen condemned the Trump administration’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, and urged the President to consult with scientists and environmental experts. She called on the President to reconsider the decision, warning of the environmental and economic consequences that will be felt in New Hampshire, the country and around the globe.

Senator Hassan has always fought to protect the environment and has been a strong supporter of curbing the devastating impacts of climate change. The Senator spoke out this month after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed rule to begin repealing the Clean Power Plan. At Brayton Energy in Hampton, New Hampshire, Senator Hassan highlighted the importance of incentivizing clean and renewable energy alternatives that create jobs in the Granite State and grow our economy.  

In March, both Shaheen and Hassan joined Senate Democrats to introduce legislation that would rescind the President’s anti-climate executive order, which initiated the repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

The text of the letter to Administrator Pruitt can be found here.