Representative James Lankford (R-OK), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements, expressed frustration with the Obama Administration's nebulous rulemaking after today's subcommittee hearing on the Social Cost of Carbon.
"I am very concerned that the "Social Cost of Carbon' regulations just increased 50%, and the American people have no information about who made this decision, why it was made and what the consequences will be in the future," said Lankford.
"A 50% increase in regulatory cost will hit those on a fixed income and limited resources harder than any other segment of our society. The fear that carbon may one day impact our economy becomes self-fulfilling as the current generation is hit with a new carbon tax and the cost of every item and unit of energy rises faster than wages. Oklahomans continue to ask why it is harder and harder to make ends meet, and hidden regulations like the social cost of carbon are part of the reason.
"This quiet change, hidden in a microwave oven regulation, could increase in the future the cost of every item we purchase in America due to increased regulatory costs. What is worse, the Administration made no promises that it would not increase the cost another 50% again in three years. This guideline, made in a bureaucratic black box, creates even more uncertainty in our fragile economy. No state, business or family was permitted to comment on the change in the guideline, only the Interagency Working Group (an unknown collection of White House officials) and a group of scientists that the Interagency Working Group hand-selected made the decision to increase the Social Cost of Carbon by 50%.
"Oklahoma families and businesses deserve clarity and certainty from this Administration as they dutifully succumb to the mountain of regulations and red tape thrown at them," continued Lankford. "The consequences of vague regulations like this trickle down to American consumers whose pocketbooks are already stretched thin by this Administration's policies."
The Obama Administration first created a unified "Social Cost of Carbon" calculation through an Interagency Working Group in 2010 to ensure all agencies use the same value for carbon emissions in their cost-benefit analyses of environmental regulations. This new, much larger cost-per-ton-of-carbon-emitted standard can be used in a wide range of regulations from energy efficiency requirements for consumer appliances, vehicle manufacturing, electricity production, energy exploration, transportation costs and much more.
"Taxpayers have a right to know how the government determines politically motivated regulations that will undoubtedly impact Americans' daily lives," concluded Lankford.