ATR Support Rep. Mullin's Amendments on Methane and Social Cost of Carbon

Posted by Justin Sykes on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017, 10:24 AM PERMALINK

This week the U.S House of Representatives is set to vote on the 2018 “Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations” or H.R. 3354. Americans for Tax Reform urges House lawmakers to support and vote for two amendments being offered by Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-Ok).

The first amendment being offered by Representative Mullin to H.R. 3554 would prohibit funds for enforcing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) methane rule issued under former President Obama.

The EPA methane rule targets America’s oil and gas industry and simply put, is a regulation in search of a problem. While oil and gas production has increased over 25 percent since 2005, related methane emissions have actually decreased almost 40 percent during that same period. Such reductions are due in part to advances in technology made by the energy industry, advances that ironically could be stymied moving forward by the lack of flexibility inherent in the rule.

The EPA’s methane rule also would come with a hefty price tag with resulting compliance costs projected to be in the hundreds of millions. According to the EPA’s own estimates, the rule could cost over $530 million in 2025. Industry estimates also show the rule could cost motorists over $500 in higher prices at the pump annually, and reduce disposable income by $1,337 each year for average American families.

Representative Mullin is also offering an amendment to H.R. 3354 that would prohibit funding for the Obama Administration’s Social Cost of Carbon rule. Under President Obama the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) was established to require that SCC estimates be taken into account in agency rulemakings and regulatory actions.

The primary issue with the SCC is that it is fatally flawed and wholly arbitrary. SCC models have no basis in economic theory and as MIT Professor Robert Pindyck has explained, SCC estimates are “close to useless” for guiding policymakers.

Americans for Tax Reform applauds Representative Mullin for taking on these two important issues that have remained as detrimental reminders of the regulatory overreach that characterized the Obama Administration.

House lawmakers should support and vote for these two important amendments to H.R. 3354 that would prohibit funding for the EPA’s costly and economically detrimental methane rule, and the arbitrary and flawed Social Cost of Carbon. 

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