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Committee Chairmen Highlight Unanswered Questions about Major Forthcoming EPA Rule

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Location: Washington, DC

Last evening, Ralph M. Hall (R-TX), Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Dr. Paul Broun (R-GA), Chairman of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee, and Dr. Andy Harris (R-MD), Chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, highlighted a series of unanswered questions to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) on the forthcoming Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Utilities (Utility MACT) rule. "More than 30 questions by Committee Members have been posed and remain unanswered that are directly relevant to this Administration's consideration of Utility MACT," the Chairmen noted in the letter to Mr. Cass Sunstein, Administrator of OIRA.

Citing repeated attempts by Committee Members for more information on this rule and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recent criticism of EPA's "cavalier and unscientific attitude," they concluded that "Before the Office of Management and Budget approves any form of the Utility MACT, we expect that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and EPA will provide specific and responsive answers to these questions." The letter further warned that "Continued inaction and lack of response from this Administration will compel our Committee to exercise more rigorous oversight." Expected to be finalized in the next week, this rule would cost almost $11 billion annually according to the Agency's calculations.


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