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Policy: Environment & Energy

EPA dodges bullet regarding potentially faulty science used for coal regulations

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Sierra Club,EPA,Ashe Schow,Energy and Environment,Coal

Environmental Protection Agency officials can breathe a sigh of relief now that the Science Advisory Board has agreed to accept the questionable science used as a basis for the agency's new coal regulations, according to Politico.

“EPA dodged a bullet [Tuesday] when an advisory panel agreed not to further review the science underlying the agency's proposed greenhouse gas rule for future power plans,” Politico said. “The Science Advisory Board agreed by voice vote to make only slight modifications to a report that will go with a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy representing the board's view that the proposed rule does not warrant further scientific review from the panel.”

The EPA stalled for two years in releasing the “science” surrounding its limits on carbon emissions for new coal plants, and was subpoenaed by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to provide the basis for the regulation.

At issue was the fact that the peer reviews of the science were conducted by “peers” funded by the Obama administration - the same administration accused of waging a “war on coal.” And the public comment sessions for the new rule were conducted away from areas that would be affected by the rule.

Add to that the repeated requests from the Office of Management and Budget for the EPA to include a more realistic cost analysis of the new rule, as well as the collusion between the EPA and the Sierra Club to make the rule more stringent, and the SAB's retreat is yet another blow to the coal industry - and science - for the sake of politics.

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