Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision to uphold the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2012 mercury and air toxics standards (MATS) rule, otherwise known as Utility MACT, for coal- and oil-fired power plants.

"When creating the MATS rule, EPA clearly violated the Data Quality Act and the Data Access Act while placing unnecessary economic burdens on the energy industry, and yet the DC Circuit has chosen to ignore all that," said Vitter. "It's scary to see the courts deteriorating our check-and-balances system and allowing the Obama Administration create their own laws."

The MATS rule requires power plants to install new technologies that EPA estimated will cost the electric generating industry $9.6 billion annually. Virtually all of EPA's estimated benefits for the MATS rule are not derived from reduced mercury, rather they are from reductions in particulate matter (PM). Additionally, EPA used science unavailable to the public and without any Congressional involvement when developing the rule.

John Beale, former senior EPA official and convicted felon, played a key role in developing the first major air rules to utilize this secret science beginning in the 1990s. Beale's approach included a heavy reliance on secret science, and under his leadership, the Agency did not share the underlying data for a number of major and expensive regulations.

In March, 2014, EPW Republicans released a report entitled, "EPA's Playbook Unveiled: A Story of Fraud, Deceit, and Secret Science," which detailed Beale's role in major policy decisions at EPA, including his ownership of the 1997 NAAQS for ozone and particulate matter. Click here to read more.