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Republicans Blast EPA’s “Listening Tour” on Proposed Greenhouse Gas Regulations

Coal-Fired Plant
Jeff Swensen, Getty

Republicans on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, in a letter Friday to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, expressed serious concerns with the lack of balance and transparency in the agency’s public outreach process associated with the forthcoming greenhouse gas regulations for existing power plants. The letter states the regulations are likely to be among the most costly in EPA history and will drive up the cost of electricity for already struggling families and individuals across America.

On September 30, EPA announced a “listening session tour” to solicit input from the public and stakeholders about approaches to regulating existing power plants. The EPA claimed that the public listening sessions were intended to help the agency develop “cost-effective guidelines that reflect the latest and best information available.” In the letter, Science Committee Republicans expressed concern that the EPA “chose to hold nearly all of these listening sessions in areas of the country that would be the least affected by the rules.” They also said the the EPA failed to transcribe, webcast or make a record of the comments and feedback provided from the listening sessions.

The members requested an explanation from Administrator McCarthy for why the EPA chose not to hold listening sessions in the geographic areas of the country most affected by the upcoming rule. They also requested additional listening sessions in areas that would be affected by the new rules and insisted that the agency transcribe these sessions and make the feedback available to the public.


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