US

EPA exaggerated the benefits of regulation

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Michael Bastasch Contributor
Font Size:

The Environmental Protection Agency may have greatly exaggerated the purported benefits of regulations regarding formaldehyde emissions, Republican senators claimed after a White House review substantially reduced the estimated benefits the agency’s rules would bring.

“The EPA has been gaming the system by grossly exaggerating economic benefits to justify its costly regulations,” said Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter. “This recent review by an office within the Obama White House goes to show that even his Administration cannot support EPA’s practice. It’s not just a minor exaggeration: the EPA’s lowest range of benefits is ten times greater than it should be.”

The EPA initially estimated that its rule governing formaldehyde emissions yielded between $91 million and $278 million in financial benefits “due to avoided incidence of asthma, eye irritation, nasopharyngeal cancer and reduced female fertility.”

However, the White House Office of Management and Budget reviewed the rule and slashed those benefits to a range of $9 million to $48 million.

The EPA initially estimated the costs of the rule to be between $72 million and $81 million per year.

Senate Republicans have criticized the EPA’s method of assessing the costs and benefits of regulations in the past, even making it one of their five transparency requests to EPA administrator nominee Gina McCarthy.

In particular, Republicans in the House and Senate have been calling on the EPA to make public data that is used to calculate benefits under the Clean Air Act. The EPA has used secret data to claim that benefits of clean air regulations exceed the costs by a 30-to-1 ratio.

“EPA has continually refused to make public the basic scientific data underlying virtually all of the Agency’s claimed benefits from new Clean Air Act (CAA) rules,” wrote Vitter and Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith in a letter to McCarthy. “Everyone agrees on the importance of clean air, but EPA needs to release the secret data they use in formulating new rules.”

Congress also requested that former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to release clean air data, and argued that the secret data is the sole basis for 85 percent of the EPA’s claim of $2 trillion worth of Clean Air Act benefits between 1990 and 2020.

The agency has yet to give a substantive response to the senator’s two requests related to calculating the economic benefits of EPA rules.

The EPA did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Follow Michael on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.