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Energy & Commerce Leaders Reassert Request for Information on EPA’s Efforts to Gut Climate Change Protections

Feb 11, 2019
Press Release
Call for climate change action and solutions amidst EPA obstruction

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Friday reasserting their prior request for documents and information on the agency’s decision to roll back policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change.

“On November 20, 2018, the Committee sent EPA a letter requesting information about the Agency’s controversial decisions to rollback three separate Obama-era rules: The Clean Power Plan, fuel economy standards for vehicles, and the methane rule,” the Committee leaders wrote to Administrator Wheeler. “However, to date, the EPA has failed to provide the information requested by the Committee.  Therefore, we reiterate our request.”

Despite multiple dire warnings from scientists and independent groups on the dangers of unchecked climate change, the Trump EPA is attempting to dismantle three critical climate change initiatives with no regard for the associated climate and public health impacts.  The actions include repealing the Clean Power Plan, which set limits on harmful carbon pollution from power plants, dismantling popular vehicle fuel efficiency and pollution standards, and rolling back the requirement that the oil and gas industry monitor and repair methane leaks.

The Democrats continued in their letter, “The tragic human and financial costs of unchecked climate change are high and increasing fast, and unfortunately the Administration’s actions for the last two years are only exacerbating these conditions.  To that end, we request information, so the Committee can evaluate these new proposals and their consequences for public health and the environment.”

In 2017 and 2018, the U.S. experienced 27 climate and weather disasters, resulting in the deaths of over 3,300 people and costs to the American public of more than one billion dollars each. 

The letter also comes after a recent United Nations report warned of drastic environmental and public health consequences without “rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure, and industrial systems” in order to limit global warming and temperature increases that could cause hundreds of millions of people to be exposed to water shortages, heat waves, and life-threatening flooding by 2050. 

The letter to EPA, including the specific list of information that the Committee leaders are requesting, is available HERE.