Text: H.R.5668 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/07/2016)

 
[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 5668 Introduced in House (IH)]

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114th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5668

   To prohibit the Secretary of Energy and the Administrator of the 
 Environmental Protection Agency from taking the social cost of carbon 
or the social cost of methane into account when taking any action, and 
                          for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              July 7, 2016

 Mr. Jenkins of West Virginia (for himself, Mr. Womack, Mr. Culberson, 
 Mr. LaHood, and Mr. Mullin) introduced the following bill; which was 
            referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To prohibit the Secretary of Energy and the Administrator of the 
 Environmental Protection Agency from taking the social cost of carbon 
or the social cost of methane into account when taking any action, and 
                          for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Transparency and Honesty in Energy 
Regulations Act of 2016''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following--
            (1) As a tool to justify Federal actions by the Department 
        of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (hereinafter 
        in this section referred to as the ``EPA'') addressing 
        greenhouse gas emissions, including those regulating or 
        prohibiting the exploration, mining, production, and use of 
        coal as well as other fossil fuels as energy sources, the 
        Social Cost of Carbon (hereinafter in this section referred to 
        as the ``SCC'') and the Social Cost of Methane (hereinafter in 
        this section referred to as the ``SCM'') in theory represent 
        the hypothetical cost of an incremental ton of carbon dioxide 
        (CO<INF>2</INF>) or methane emissions in a given year.
            (2) Office of Management and Budget (hereinafter in this 
        section referred to as the ``OMB'') Circular A-4 guides Federal 
        agencies on the development of regulatory impact analysis 
        required under Executive Order 12866 as well as other 
        authorities, instructing agencies to include discount rates of 
        3 and 7 percent while also evaluating the cost and benefits 
        that accrue to citizens and residents of the United States.
            (3) First developed in 2009 by an interagency working 
        group, including the Department of Energy and the EPA, the SCC 
        estimates fail to comply with OMB Circular A-4 prescribed 
        discount rates of 3 and 7 percent.
            (4) While OMB Circular A-4 specifies that an evaluation of 
        the global effects, when undertaken, is to be reported 
        separately from domestic costs and benefits, the SCC instead 
        calculated the global benefits in lieu of and not in addition 
        to the domestic effects.
            (5) The use of the SCC estimates in Department of Energy 
        and EPA rulemakings prior to any opportunity for public notice 
        and comment violated not only scientific peer-review 
        requirements but also the President's commitment to transparent 
        and open government as outlined in his January 21, 2009, 
        memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies.
            (6) In July 2015, as part of a revision of the SCC in 
        response to over 150 substantive comments and in acknowledgment 
        of the faulty process by which the SCC estimates were 
        developed, the OMB requested the National Academies of Science, 
        Engineering and Medicine (hereinafter in this section referred 
        to as the ``NAS'') review and make recommendations for the 
        improvement of the SCC estimates.
            (7) Shortly after the commencement of the NAS review, the 
        EPA, without appropriate peer review and an opportunity for 
        public notice and comment, utilized the EPA-developed SCM 
        estimates in justifying the costs and benefits of the September 
        2015 proposed and recently finalized rules under the Clean Air 
        Act for methane emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed 
        sources in the oil and gas sector.
            (8) Continued use by the Department of Energy and the EPA 
        of the SCC and the SCM ignores sound science in order to 
        eliminate the exploration, mining, production, and use of our 
        abundant domestic sources of fossil fuel energy.
            (9) The Department of Energy and EPA regulations, which are 
        costing American families billions of dollars per year, are 
        being justified in large part by SCC and SCM estimates.

SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON CONSIDERING THE SOCIAL COST OF CARBON AND THE 
              SOCIAL COST OF METHANE.

    The Secretary of Energy, when acting under any authority, and the 
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, when acting under 
the authority of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), may not 
consider the social cost of carbon or the social cost of methane as 
part of any cost benefit analysis required under law or under Executive 
Order 12866 or 13563, in any rulemaking, in the issuance of any 
guidance, or in taking any other agency action, or as a justification 
for any rulemaking, guidance document, or agency action, unless a 
Federal law is enacted, after the date of enactment of this Act, 
explicitly authorizing such consideration.

SEC. 4. REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE EPA.

    Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, 
the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in 
coordination and consultation with the Secretary of Energy, the 
Secretary of the Interior, and the Council on Environmental Quality 
shall submit a report to the Committees on Energy and Commerce and on 
Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committees on 
the Environment and Public Works and on Energy and Natural Resources of 
the Senate, detailing the number of proposed and final rulemakings, 
guidance documents, and agency actions since January 2009 that use the 
social cost of carbon or the social cost of methane, including as part 
of any cost benefit analysis required under Executive Order 12866 and 
other relevant authorities.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) The term ``social cost of carbon'' means--
                    (A) the social cost of carbon as described in--
                            (i) the document entitled ``Technical 
                        Support Document: Social Cost of Carbon for 
                        Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive 
                        Order 12866'' published by the Interagency 
                        Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon, United 
                        States Government, in February 2010; or
                            (ii) the document entitled ``Technical 
                        Support Document: Technical Update of the 
                        Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact 
                        Analysis Under Executive Order 12866'' 
                        published by the Interagency Working Group on 
                        Social Cost of Carbon, United States 
                        Government, in May 2013, and revised in 
                        November 2013 and July 2015, or any other 
                        successor or substantially related document; or
                    (B) any other estimate of the monetized damages 
                associated with an incremental increase in carbon 
                dioxide emissions in a given year.
            (2) The term ``social cost of methane'' means the estimate 
        of the social cost of methane--
                    (A) as described in--
                            (i) the proposed rule entitled ``Oil and 
                        Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New 
                        and Modified Sources'' published by the 
                        Environmental Protection Agency in the Federal 
                        Register on September 18, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 
                        56593);
                            (ii) the final rule entitled ``Oil and 
                        Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, 
                        Reconstructed, and Modified Sources'' published 
                        by the Environmental Protection Agency in the 
                        Federal Register on June 3, 2016 (81 Fed. Reg. 
                        35824); or
                            (iii) the ``Regulatory Impact Analysis of 
                        the Final Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission 
                        Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified 
                        Sources'' prepared by the Environmental 
                        Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation, 
                        in May 2016, and identified by docket ID number 
                        EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-7630; or
                    (B) any other successor or substantially related 
                estimate.
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