GOP rep: Obama admin stealthily updates enviromental cost calculations, then announces new regs. Let’s connect the dots here.

posted at 8:41 pm on July 8, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

I realize that I’ve already written about this impressively insidious and sneaky little rule change a couple of times now, but especially in light of what I mentioned earlier today about the many new action items the EPA has on its agenda far and away beyond even President Obama’s carbon-emissions regulatory ambitions, I really can’t emphasize enough just how extravagantly underhanded this move was — as well as the pretty major impact it’s going to have.

Last month, the Obama administration (through the Office of Management and Budget, of all things) very quietly updated their system for calculating what they call the “social costs of carbon” (SCC), a tool they use to guesstimate the costs and benefits of their proposed environmental regulations, in a seemingly inconspicuous rule about microwave oven efficiency. The higher their price estimate, the easier it is for them for justify the economic costs of their regs — and how oddly timed is it that they just tried to sneak a change to an already highly controversial estimate system beneath anybody’s notice, and that they’re getting ready to introduce all kinds of new regulations on a whole bunch of types of emissions? Too odd, if you ask me.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) connected the change in the White House’s accounting method, called the “social cost” of carbon pollution, to the administration’s plans for new environmental rules.

“Connecting the dots, it’s clear the Administration updated the social cost of carbon, without much notice, in order to justify sprawling new regulations,” he said in a statement to The Hill on Monday.

Hunter added, “And not long after, the President pulls the curtain back on a new agenda that will lean heavily on rule making, and now there’s a clear line of sight into the Administration’s plans. There must be a more transparent process, allowing the public and industry to weigh-in on something so significant. That’s something everyone can support, including those who support putting a higher cost on carbon emissions.” …

After the OMB announcement, Hunter and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) introduced a bill requiring a 60-day public review period for new analyses of a rule’s impacts, costs and benefits. The legislation, the Cost-Benefit and Regulatory Transparency Enhancement Act, would also require agencies to publish a report on the methods used in studies of new rules.

The Obama administration were hardly what you’d call a bunch of slouches at introducing new and costly environmental regulations during the president’s first term, and their even bigger plans for the Round 2 are quickly becoming clear — as much as they’d obviously like to prevent them from becoming too clear. Move along, people, nothing to see here.


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Gotta respect anyone who will push their agenda and bring it to fruition. Too bad Republicans don’t believe in anything strong enough to bend the rules to make changes they believe in.

rickyricardo on July 8, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Yet you fools keep giving him what he wants. Morons.

njrob on July 8, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Can we impeach that son of a kenyan yet? Screw it. LIB.

AH_C on July 8, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Silence from the Republicans in Congress. If the shoe was on the other foot, Schumer would be front and center demanding Congressional hearing and engaging in performance art outrage for every camera in DC.

There is no opposition party; just one Democratic party.

rickyricardo on July 8, 2013 at 8:52 PM

ricky and njrob correct. Does the GOP ever get tired of being the battered wife? Cause I sure am.

arnold ziffel on July 8, 2013 at 8:53 PM

I am sooooo sick of the gutlessness of the House. This flagrant abuse of power and criminality should be met with brutal budgetary war. Defund the EPA, put them on a monthly budget and yank their chain real hard every time they step out of line, and if Harry Reid and the NY TASS don’t like it? Awwwww, so sad.

DocinPA on July 8, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Sarah Palin is right.

turfmann on July 8, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Gotta respect anyone who will push their agenda and bring it to fruition. Too bad Republicans don’t believe in anything strong enough to bend the rules to make changes they believe in.

rickyricardo on July 8, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Why would you respect them for this, they’re not bending the rules they’re stone-cold breaking them, making shiite up and acting criminally as they deem necessary.

Bishop on July 8, 2013 at 9:23 PM

fter the OMB announcement, Hunter and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) introduced a bill requiring a 60-day public review period for new analyses of a rule’s impacts, costs and benefits. The legislation, the Cost-Benefit and Regulatory Transparency Enhancement Act, would also require agencies to publish a report on the methods used in studies of new rules.

Blah blah blah… and nothing changes. Kill the EPA.

Hill60 on July 8, 2013 at 9:33 PM

…what’s a Republican?

KOOLAID2 on July 8, 2013 at 9:34 PM

” I realize I’ve already written about this…”

Yea,, and you KEEP writing about it. You’re good at it.

I know more about it from you than any other source, and I appreciate it.

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Okay, connect the dots. Then what? Nothing is what.

rrpjr on July 8, 2013 at 9:41 PM

President Palin’s first 60 days: Departments of Energy and Education eradicated. A 25% cut in budget to every other federal agency. EPA cut in half. Commission established to review and recommend elimination of excess, onerous and productivity-stifling regulation. TSA alowly phased out and airport security privatized.

Just the beginning.

rrpjr on July 8, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Fascism via policy.

locomotivebreath1901 on July 8, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Pray for our country… before it’s too late.

Zorro on July 8, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Actually the EPA would be the easiest to get rid of.

Created by executative order? Rescinded by executive order.

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 9:59 PM

rrpjr on July 8, 2013 at 9:47 PM

President Bishop’s first 60 days: *comment edited by the HotGas safe comment system*

Bishop on July 8, 2013 at 10:01 PM

” I realize I’ve already written about this…”

Yea,, and you KEEP writing about it. You’re good at it.

I know more about it from you than any other source, and I appreciate it.

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 9:36 PM

I was her slave the moment she said “butter my butt and call me biscuit.” She posts, I’m there.

arnold ziffel on July 8, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Bishop on July 8, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Tease, tease, tease… :)

Moose Drool on July 8, 2013 at 10:43 PM

I am sooooo sick of the gutlessness of the House. This flagrant abuse of power and criminality should be met with brutal budgetary war. Defund the EPA, put them on a monthly budget and yank their chain real hard every time they step out of line, and if Harry Reid and the NY TASS don’t like it? Awwwww, so sad.

DocinPA on July 8, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Agreed. What’s the point of continuing to go to the polls for these people if they’re not going to walk tall when they get there? I’m tired of the GOP’s antics lately. It’s one greasy scheme after another with this administration, and what are we getting from Republicans?…. amnesty bills.

I’m just so sick of the tip-toeing and pandering.

Murf76 on July 8, 2013 at 10:44 PM

“butter my butt and call me biscuit.”

arnold ziffel on July 8, 2013 at 10:02 PM

.
Really? She wrote that?

ExpressoBold on July 8, 2013 at 11:06 PM

Really? She wrote that?

ExpressoBold on July 8, 2013 at 11:06 PM

She so did mr. coffee.

arnold ziffel on July 9, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Gotta respect anyone who will push their agenda and bring it to fruition. Too bad Republicans don’t believe in anything strong enough to bend the rules to make changes they believe in.

rickyricardo on July 8, 2013 at 8:50 PM

idiot. If everyone did that, the end result would be dictatorship. If people simply did what they wanted with no regards for the rules or laws then laws become meaningless and we quickly sink into a nation ruled by thugs. law of the jungle would then apply and might will make right.

We have become the wealthiest strongest nation on earth because up until about 20 years ago no one was above the law. We kicked a POTUS out of office for breaking a law and covering it up. No one was above the law. Now because people “push their agenda and bring it to fruition” we have an elite class that the law doesn’t apply too.

We as a people are traveling back to the dark ages and disregarding 400+ years of enlightenment.

unseen on July 9, 2013 at 3:14 AM

I am sooooo sick of the gutlessness of the House. This flagrant abuse of power and criminality should be met with brutal budgetary war. Defund the EPA, put them on a monthly budget and yank their chain real hard every time they step out of line, and if Harry Reid and the NY TASS don’t like it? Awwwww, so sad.

DocinPA on July 8, 2013 at 8:55 PM

well when NSA/Obama admin has your dirty secret emails. You talk small and carry a little stick.

How anyone can think the NSA spying is a good think is beyond me.

unseen on July 9, 2013 at 3:16 AM

Pray for our country… before it’s too late.

Zorro on July 8, 2013 at 9:58 PM

I’m praying but I think its already too late. the elites are too entrenched to go easily or quietly.

unseen on July 9, 2013 at 3:19 AM

The microwave oven is one of the most efficient ways of heating food ever devised. If you want something more efficient you will be hard-pressed to find it. Maybe they should concentrate efforts on increasing the efficiency and lowering the energy used to construct wind farms and solar panels, so that you have a chance of at least getting the energy out of them that were put into making and placing them in the first place.

This is just more NannyState attempts to put you in the cold and dark with inefficient ways to heat your food so that you get diseases while sitting in the dark huddled over your plastic bag of Soylent Green.

ajacksonian on July 9, 2013 at 7:43 AM

They could also multiply by the devaluation of the currency since he took office, and get an even larger figure. The thing is, I want to know what about the rest of us who have been suffering from Undue Cost Impacts since this man and his entourage set about the fundamental transformation of the U.S? How about charging single mothers living in poverty with the social costs related to their poor choices? A single mother living in poverty who makes bad choices hurts everyone more than the social cost of Edison’s light bulb or the the emissions from a car when a responsible member of society drives to their full time job thirty miles away. The cost on society of unmarried women is enormous. Tax That.

Fleuries on July 9, 2013 at 9:40 AM

WTF is the “social cost of carbon pollution”?

Carbon is the fourth most abundant element on the Earth’s surface, and the second most abundant element in the human body, and all living plants and animals. All life on Earth is completely dependent on carbon in its myriad compounds–is this “pollution”? Shall we kill all living organisms on Earth because they contain carbon? Diamonds are also pure carbon–are they pollution?

Blaming the ills of the world on an abundant and necessary element for life is as scientifically ignorant as Obama’s “Flat Earth Society”. We need to distinguish between COMPOUNDS of carbon. Carbon MONoxide is toxic, and the EPA has been regulating its emissions for 43 years, and nobody in industry complains about meeting these regulations. Carbon DIoxide is non-toxic, is exhaled by all animals and human beings, and is required for photosynthesis, by which green plants provide the entire food supply of the earth.

This distinction is important, because if the Obama administration wants to put a number on the “social cost of carbon dioxide emissions”, is this number expressed in dollars per ton of carbon burned or dollars per ton of carbon dioxide emitted? Chemistry tells us that burning 12 tons of carbon produces 44 tons of carbon dioxide, so that $1 per ton carbon burned is equivalent to $3.67 per ton carbon dioxide emitted. For those who don’t realize the difference, this can be a tricky sleight of hand to confuse a gullible public, although people in the energy industry would NOT be fooled.

If a “social cost of carbon dioxide emissions” is based on the possible negative consequences of “global warming” which the extra carbon dioxide may produce in the future (based on whose prediction?), this needs to be balanced against the future BENEFICIAL effects of that carbon dioxide. Numerous experiments have shown that high CO2 concentrations in the air result in faster plant growth and higher crop yields, which is why florists “spike” their greenhouses with CO2 in order to obtain more flowers earlier in the season. So if additional carbon dioxide in the air results in higher future crop yields, the emitter of that carbon dioxide should receive a government tax credit for the benefit he/she is providing to farmers of the future.

Have any of the geniuses at Obama’s Flat Earth Society at the EPA thought of THAT, or is that “conveniently ignored” because it would bring less revenue to the government?

Steve Z on July 9, 2013 at 11:22 AM

The social costs of carbon? Sounds like they’ve succeeded in creating a whole new sector of the economy that generates money on literally nothing but hot air.

Heftyjo on July 9, 2013 at 1:37 PM