Sessions, Vitter, other Republicans send letter to EPA Administrator….


….and the letter ain’t nice.

Jeff Sessions, David Vitter, and six other Senators have sent yet another nasty letter to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, demanding a response to a question that is 26 months old.  The eight signatories of the letter are seeking answers to questions that Senator Sessions and others asked back in 2011.

We are writing to renew a longstanding, unanswered request for data related to federal funds and resources expended as part of EPA’s unnecessary reconsideration of the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ground level ozone in the 2010-2011 timeframe. As you know, ozone attainment status significantly impacts state and local transportation planning, energy production and use, and economic development. EPA’s reconsideration of the ozone standard in 2010-2011, years ahead of the regularly-scheduled review process established in the Clean Air Act (CAA), caused economic and regulatory uncertainty throughout the United States. Private businesses and organizations as well as federal, state, and local agencies incurred significant expenses analyzing EPA’s proposal as well as participating in the public comment process. As the Assistant Administrator with responsibility for EPA’s Office of Air & Radiation at the time, you led this ozone reconsideration effort and, as the Administrator, you are responsible for overseeing the current ozone review.

Long story short:  The EPA cost taxpayers quite a bit of money in reconsidering standards in such a way as to throw whole industries into confusion.  The situation became so dire that the President stepped in and ordered a halt to the new regulations that the EPA was proposing.

Soon after the President’s decision, Senator Sessions wrote EPA in September 2011 inquiring about the “total costs incurred or expended by [EPA] … on efforts related to reconsideration of the 2008 [ozone standard].” However, ever since that request, EPA has evaded providing a response. At your confirmation hearing, in April of this year, Senator Sessions asked you if you would respond to his questions for the record. You responded: “I absolutely will.”  In those questions, you were specifically asked: “Did EPA incur significant costs as part of the ozone reconsideration process; if so, how much?”  You wholly ignored the question in your response to the Committee, violating your pledge before the Committee. Again, in May of this year, EPA staff wrote Senate staff: “We haven’t tracked down a response but are working on it.” To date, no official EPA response has been provided. It has now been 26 months since the initial request.

Y’all know how The Honest Answer regards the EPA.  I don’t know if Senatorial pique has any effect on the Administrators for King Barry, but certainly the Republicans in the Senate are getting fed up with Obama Administration obfuscation.  The EPA has stepped on so many toes lately.  We wrote here about another letter that the Environmental and Public Works department wrote to Gina McCarthy back in June.  If the EPW got an answer from Mrs. McCarthy, I don’t know about it.

To read the full text of the latest letter to the EPA, go here.