WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee; U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla), chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management of the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee, and U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD), chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Superfund, Hazardous Waste, and Regulatory Oversight, today sent a letter to Sally Jewell, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), requesting DOI clarify conflicting reports regarding its role in the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on greenhouse gases (GHGs), formerly known as the IWG on the social cost of carbon (SCC).
“Based on these facts, it appears that DOI’s role in the IWG was hidden from the public and GAO. While it is possible the DOI spokeswoman recently misinformed the press when she said, 'DOI has been a member of the Interagency Working Group since it was established,' there was no public notice of DOI’s membership in the IWG or reason provided for joining the IWG years after the IWG was convened. Moreover, such a misstatement does not explain the inaccurate IWG documents released in July 2015 that failed to disclose DOI’s participation,” the Senators said in the letter.
On May 24, Inhofe sent a letter to Special Assistant to the President Dan Utech, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and EPA Acting Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe questioning the costs and benefits of EPA’s final methane rules for the oil and gas sector, specifically EPA’s use of the speculative social cost of methane metric used to provide the sole quantified benefits.
On April 13, Inhofe joined Lankford in sending a letter to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator Howard Shelanski on the EPA’s social cost of methane estimates in its proposed rule for methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.
On Dec. 4, 2015, Inhofe sent a letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy raising concerns over EPA’s application of the social cost of the methane (SCM) in the EPA’s proposed rule for methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.
On July 21, 2015, Inhofe led seven other Senators, including Lankford and Rounds, in sending a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on the lack of transparency and accountability in developing and updating the SCC, and requested the production of documents underlying the SCC estimates.
On June 11, 2015, Inhofe led six other Senators in sending a letter to President Obama regarding plans for regulating methane from the oil and gas sector, and specifically asked whether a social cost of methane estimate would be used in the expected rule. The senate EPW committee has yet to receive a response.
On March 9, 2015, Inhofe led eight other Senators, including Lankford and Rounds, in sending a letter to OIRA Administrator Howard Shelanski regarding the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon and its delayed response to public comments submitted on the SCC.
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