GOP Calls for Transparency in Obama Climate-Change Plan

Tuesday, 16 Jul 2013 12:31 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Sen. David Vitter wants a White House official at a hearing this week to defend President Barack Obama’s climate-change plan, reports The Hill.

"Last week, my fellow Environment and Public Works Committee Republicans and I sent a letter to Senator Boxer requesting the presence of federal witnesses at this Thursday's hearing entitled 'Climate Change: It's Happening Now,'" the Louisiana Republican said Monday in a letter to Obama, referring to Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer of California.

"I am requesting your active participation in providing representatives of your administration that Senator Boxer has failed to include," wrote Vitter. "This hearing is timely in light of your recent announcement of a 'Climate Action Plan' at Georgetown University, where you committed to a 'coordinated assault on a changing climate.'"

Republican lawmakers have criticized the president's plan, arguing that it relies on executive actions that require no congressional approval and would hurt the economy.
"The American people should not be kept in the dark regarding the scope of the actions your administration is taking under the guise of controlling our climate —actions that have the potential to negatively impact employment, job creation, and our national debt," Vitter wrote.

Meanwhile, critics in Congress are scrutinizing the administration's decision to push through a regulatory change making it easier to justify the costs of new greenhouse-gas rules, reports Politico.

In May, the White House boosted its estimates for the social cost of carbon — known as SCC — a measure of the cost to the public of greenhouse-gas pollution, which is used to calculate the benefits of the administration's climate regulations.

Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California and Democrat Nick Rahall of West Virginia reportedly are seeking co-sponsors for a bill that would require changes to cost-benefit calculations to be done in the open.

"Connecting the dots, it's clear the administration updated the social cost of carbon without much notice in order to justify sprawling new regulations," Hunter told Politico. "There must be a more transparent process, allowing the public and industry to weigh in on something so significant."

The legislation would require that any analysis of the impact of carbon not be completed until it has been available to the public for 60 days.

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