Kristina Baum (EPW) – 202.224.6176

Donelle Harder (EPW) – 202.224.4721

Republican Senators Call on EPA for Increased Transparency in Social Cost of Carbon Estimates

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Sens. David Vitter (R-La.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), sent a letter today to Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for increased transparency and requesting documents from EPA related to the social cost of carbon (SCC) estimates.

“Critically, despite the veil of the IWG and the Administration’s resistance to SCC transparency, we have learned that the EPA, in fact, was responsible for calculating the SCC estimates. We have also identified several former or current EPA officials who directly participated in the IWG. Accordingly, as an integral participant in the IWG, we are requesting corresponding documents directly from the EPA,” the Senators said in the letter.

The social cost of carbon (SCC) is a tool used by the Administration to represent the presumed cost of a ton of carbon dioxide emitted.  The SCC was developed by an interagency working group (IWG) consisting of a dozen federal agencies and offices; however, the Administration has refused to share details about the IWG participants, the IWG’s process for developing and updating the SCC, and the IWG’s efforts to respond to public comments.  In other words, information about who, what, where, when, and how, the IWG formed and continues to function is not publicly known.

On July 2, 2015—absent any public notice and after a year and four months of reviewing public comments—the Administration released updated SCC estimates, reflecting a mere $1.00 per ton difference. 

To read the full text of the letter, click here.