Should the Federal Government Regulate Greenhouse Gases?

Heritage Action recently joined energy groups and other conservative organizations in sending a letter to Representative Evan Jenkins (R-WV) thanking him for introducing his latest bill, the Transparency and Honesty in Energy Regulations Act of 2016 (THERA).

The bill would stop federal regulatory agencies from using the “social cost of carbon” (SCC) and the “social cost of methane” (SCM) when estimating the cost-benefit analysis of proposed environmental regulations. Federal agencies are legally required to consider a cost-benefit analysis when proposing new rules.

The SCC and SCM rules were first created by the Obama administration’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) for the purpose of justifying harsher regulations of greenhouse gases. For example, SCC and SCM helped the Obama administration advance costly regulations including the New Source Performance Standard and Clean Power Plan.

If passed, Rep. Jenkins’ bill would force agencies to take into account the real cost of environmental regulation that has raised energy costs and destroyed jobs for families and businesses. Estimates show that if the Obama administration fully implements its comprehensive set of rules to reduce global warming, it would cause a peak employment shortfall of more than 1 million jobs and reduce personal income by $7,000 per person by 2030.

While this bill would help ease overregulation, Congress should continue to work on passing legislation that prohibits the EPA and all other federal agencies from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

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