Free Market Coalition Supports Murphy Amendment

WASHINGTON — The American Energy Alliance was joined today by eight other free market organizations in support of Rep. Tim Murphy’s (R-Pa.) amendment to H.R. 1582, The Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013.
The Murphy amendment protects Americans by requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to follow public and transparent procedures when utilizing a “social cost of carbon” (SCC) metric to justify any significant regulation. The letter states:

“…If Congress does not act to rein in the administration’s continued use of the ‘social cost of carbon’ to justify ever-more-expensive energy regulations, Americans may soon find their energy and regulation costs skyrocketing and consequently, their way of life destroyed.

“This amendment is made necessary by the potential for abuse. For example, in May, in a little-noticed rule regulating the energy efficiency of microwaves in standby mode, the Department of Energy mentioned that they were dramatically increasing their earlier estimates of the ‘social cost of carbon.’ They did so without public comment, without public participation, and in violation of Office and Management and Budget guidelines. The effect of this unprecedented move was to make it easier to justify ever-more-costly energy regulations and potentially, to provide a baseline level for a carbon tax.  All of this is being done without the consent of Congress or public input.

“The Murphy amendment is a common-sense approach to the administration’s actions. Until the administration explains their actions to Congress and the American people in an open and transparent public process, it should not be allowed to insinuate this concept into every action. This is consistent with President Obama’s statement that climate regulations should be developed ‘in an open and transparent way.’

“In addition to failing to present the ‘social cost of carbon’ to the American public in an open and transparent way, there are many problems with it. First, Congress has not authorized the Executive Branch to use ‘social cost of carbon’ as a mechanism to justify regulatory costs. In practice, the estimate of the ‘social costs of carbon’ has dramatically increased in just a few years—just as the administration needed to justify expensive new rules on energy. In 2009, the Department of Energy estimated the domestic impact of the ‘social cost of carbon’ at $2 a ton. The 2013 update calculated the ‘social cost of carbon’ at $12 to $129 a ton for the year 2020…”

The other signatories of the letter are:

60 Plus Association
American Commitment
American Tradition Institute
George C. Marshall Institute
Independent Women’s Voice
National Center for Public Policy Research
National Taxpayer’s Union
Positive Growth Alliance

To read the full letter, click here.


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