U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement responding to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement to proceed with a review and examination of whole-economy modeling and its ability to capture more complete regulatory impacts of air regulations across the economy. During EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy's nomination process in 2013, EPW Republicans won commitments from EPA on several key requests, including one to convene an independent panel of economic experts with experience in cost-benefit analysis to review EPA's current whole-economy modeling and the Agency's ability to measure full regulatory impacts, including ripple effects in sectors that are not directly regulated, and to make subsequent recommendations to the Agency.

"The EPA is constantly putting their ‘economic data' for air regulations in a skewed context by focusing on the benefits, often questionable at best, while ignoring a whole host of costs, and this fails the American consumer," said Vitter. "This is a significant first step in the process to implement whole-economy modeling methods at EPA that would ultimately offer a true picture of the full economic impact of rules on businesses, workers, and families."

Various executive orders and legislative mandates require EPA to conduct continuing evaluations of potential job loss and shifts in employment resulting from implementation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act. The Agency's current economic analysis falls short of what is required. EPA is now seeking public comment on the appropriate role for economy-wide modeling in informing the regulatory process, including for use in future air regulations. EPA is also soliciting comment on questions to be posed to the panel of economic experts, and is expected to seek nominations for the independent Economy-Wide Modeling Panel later this spring. Click here to read more.