U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), today sent a letter to Howard Shelanski, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In the letter, the Senators request that OIRA ensures that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not proceed with proposing a revised ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) until the Agency has first received and considered a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis from the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC).

"By any measure, the revised ozone rule will represent one of the costliest rules ever issued by EPA, and the process has been anything but thorough and transparent," Vitter said. "It will serve as one of the most devastating regulations in a series of over-reaching regulatory actions taken by this Administration. Yet, we are now just days from the scheduled proposal date for the revised ozone standard, and there's no evidence that EPA or CASAC intends to follow the law, which includes providing a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of a lower standard."

"The Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee consciously ignored the Clean Air Act's strict statutory instruction to advise the Administrator on the significant negative economic impact of lowering the ozone standard," said Inhofe. "This action demonstrates a political move with obvious vested interest in advancing an environmentalist agenda over following the law. President Obama decided to halt a similar regulation in 2011 due to high costs and stifling effects on the U.S. businesses. My colleagues and I hope President Obama will take the same action this time around."

CASAC has not conducted the required analysis of "any adverse public health, welfare, social, economic, or energy effects, which may result from various strategies for attainment and maintenance of" a new ozone standard.

Because of a closed door sue-and-settle deal with far-left environmental groups led by the Sierra Club, EPA is under a court-mandated deadline to propose the revised ozone NAAQS by December 1, 2014. The potential impacts of a lower ozone standard include a reduction in GDP of $270 billion per year and lost jobs averaging 2.9 million per year. In addition, a lower ozone standard will result in increased natural gas and electricity costs for American families and manufacturers.

Vitter has been urging CASAC and EPA in a series of letters to conduct the ozone NAAQS review process in a transparent manner, including the need to address error corrections and risk data errors in the scientific assessments used. In August, Vitter held two field briefings in Louisiana to analyze the potential impacts of the current review of the ozone NAAQS. Click here to read more.

Click here to read Sens. Vitter and Inhofe's letter.