Rep. Schweikert Releases Letter to EPA Administrator Challenging Lackluster “Listening Tour”
Washington D.C., December 6, 2013 — Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee released a letter today sent to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy expressing “serious concerns with the lack of balance and transparency in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) public outreach process associated with forthcoming greenhouse gas regulations for existing power plants.”
“On September 30, EPA announced a ‘listening session tour’ to ‘solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches’ to regulating existing power plants,” the letter reads. “It is our understanding that EPA did not transcribe, webcast, or otherwise record the comments presented at the 11 listening sessions. If there is no record of what was said, it’s unclear how the Agency can claim the sessions were designed for the purpose of ‘helping EPA develop smart, cost-effective guidelines.’ While EPA did allow written comments to be submitted at the sessions, many if not most presenters gave only oral remarks. In addition, it is our understanding that EPA does not intend to make public the written comments that were submitted.”
The letter concluded, “We recognize that we have significant policy differences when it comes to these rules. However, there are clearly areas of opportunity for cooperation. Ultimately, the credibility of EPA decisions in these areas will be greatly enhanced if the American people can trust the process through which such decisions are reached. We look forward to working with you to make this happen.”
“Arizona is home to power plants providing energy to our businesses and families across the state. Each plant supplies jobs and opportunities for business growth,” added Schweikert. “Initiating changes in policy and regulations without public opinion in areas affected most by those changes is an insult to the American people and Arizonans especially.”
Members who joined with Schweikert in signing the letter include: Reps. Chris Steward (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Larry Bucshon (R-Indiana), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Jim Bridenstine (R-OK).