Text: H.R.3117 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/29/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3117 Introduced in House (IH)]

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115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3117

     To prohibit the Secretary of Energy, the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of the Interior, and the 
  Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality from considering the 
 social cost of carbon, the social cost of methane, or the social cost 
    of nitrous oxide, in taking any action, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             June 29, 2017

Mr. Jenkins of West Virginia (for himself, Mr. Culberson, Mr. McKinley, 
   Mr. Mullin, Mr. Womack, Mr. LaHood, Mr. Flores, Mr. Griffith, Mr. 
Bishop of Utah, Mr. Cole, Mr. Gosar, Mr. Olson, and Mr. Mooney of West 
  Virginia) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
 Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on 
 Natural Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
  Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
     To prohibit the Secretary of Energy, the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of the Interior, and the 
  Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality from considering the 
 social cost of carbon, the social cost of methane, or the social cost 
    of nitrous oxide, in 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 2017''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) as a tool to justify Federal actions by the Secretary 
        of Energy, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
        Agency, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Chair of the 
        Council on Environmental Quality to address greenhouse gas 
        emissions, including the regulation or prohibition of the 
        exploration, mining, production, and use of coal and other 
        fossil fuels as energy sources, the social cost of carbon, the 
        social cost of methane, and the social cost of nitrous oxide 
        represent the hypothetical cost of 1 incremental ton of carbon 
        dioxide, methane, or nitrous oxide emissions in a given year;
            (2) the document of the Office of Management and Budget 
        entitled ``Circular A-4'' and dated September 17, 2003--
                    (A) guides Federal agencies on the development of 
                regulatory impact analysis required under Executive 
                Order 12866 (5 U.S.C. 601 note; relating to regulatory 
                planning and review) and other authorities; and
                    (B) instructs Federal agencies to include discount 
                rates of 3 and 7 percent and evaluate the costs and 
                benefits of the regulatory action that accrue to 
                citizens and residents of the United States;
            (3) first developed in 2009 by an interagency working group 
        that included the Department of Energy, the Environmental 
        Protection Agency, and the Council on Environmental Quality, 
        the estimates for the social cost of carbon, as well as the 
        subsequently developed estimates of the social cost of methane, 
        and the social cost of nitrous oxide fail to comply with the 3- 
        and 7-percent discount rates prescribed by the document of the 
        Office of Management and Budget entitled ``Circular A-4'' and 
        dated September 17, 2003;
            (4) while the document of the Office of Management and 
        Budget entitled ``Circular A-4'' and dated September 17, 2003, 
        specifies that, in carrying out an evaluation of the global 
        effects of a rule, regulation, or action, the evaluation shall 
        be reported separately from domestic costs and benefits of that 
        rule, regulation, or action, the social cost of carbon instead 
        calculates the global benefits in lieu of, not in addition to, 
        the domestic costs of a rule, regulation, or action;
            (5) the use of the estimates for the social cost of carbon, 
        the social cost of methane, and the social cost of nitrous 
        oxide, in the rulemakings of the Department of Energy, the 
        Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the 
        Interior, and the Council on Environmental Quality without 
        public notice and an adequate opportunity for comment violates 
        scientific peer review requirements;
            (6) the Environmental Protection Agency relied upon the 
        social cost of methane, without appropriate peer review or 
        opportunity for public notice and comment, in justifying the 
        costs and benefits of the September 2015 proposed and the June 
        2016 finalized rules under the Clean Air Act for methane 
        emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed sources in the 
        oil and gas sector;
            (7) the Department of the Interior used the social cost of 
        methane estimate to justify the costs and benefits of the final 
        rule entitled ``Waste Prevention, Production Subject to 
        Royalties, and Resource Conservation'' (81 Fed. Reg. 83008 
        (November 18, 2016));
            (8) the Council on Environmental Quality issued final 
        guidance on August 1, 2016, that, with respect to a monetary 
        cost-benefit analysis for an evaluation of a proposed Federal 
        action under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 
        U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), directed the head of each Federal agency 
        to include the social cost of carbon in any consideration of 
        the effect of greenhouse gas emissions;
            (9) the regulations of the Department of Energy, the 
        Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the 
        Interior, and the Council on Environmental Quality are costing 
        families of the United States billions of dollars each year and 
        are justified, in large part, by the social cost of carbon, the 
        social cost of methane, and the social cost of nitrous oxide;
            (10) continued use of the social cost of carbon, the social 
        cost of methane, and the social cost of nitrous oxide by the 
        Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the 
        Department of the Interior, and the Council on Environmental 
        Quality ignores sound science for the purpose of eliminating 
        the exploration, mining, production, and use of the abundant 
        domestic sources of fossil fuel energy of the United States;
            (11) Executive Order 13777 (82 Fed. Reg. 12285 (March 1, 
        2017)) states that the policy of the United States is to 
        alleviate any unnecessary regulatory burden on the people of 
        the United States; and
            (12) Executive Order 13783 of March 28, 2017 (82 Fed. Reg. 
        16093 (March 31, 2017))--
                    (A) disbands the interagency working group referred 
                to in paragraph (3);
                    (B) withdraws the social cost of carbon, the social 
                cost of methane, and the social cost of nitrous oxide; 
                and
                    (C) directs Federal agencies, in monetizing the 
                value of changes in greenhouse gas emissions as a 
                result of a regulation, to follow the document of the 
                Office of Management and Budget entitled ``Circular A-
                4'' and dated September 17, 2003, by using the discount 
                rates specified in that document and evaluating only 
                the domestic effects of the regulation.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
            (2) Social cost of carbon.--The term ``social cost of 
        carbon'' means--
                    (A) the estimate of the social cost of carbon 
                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)(I) 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, and published and revised 
                        by the Interagency Working Group on the Social 
                        Cost of Greenhouse Gases, United States 
                        Government, in August 2016; or
                            (II) any successor or substantially related 
                        document; and
                    (B) any other estimate of the monetized damages 
                associated with an incremental increase in carbon 
                dioxide emissions in a given year.
            (3) Social cost of methane.--The term ``social cost of 
        methane'' means--
                    (A) the estimate of the social cost of methane 
                described in--
                            (i) the proposed rule entitled ``Oil and 
                        Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New 
                        and Modified Sources'' (80 Fed. Reg. 56593 
                        (September 18, 2015));
                            (ii) the final rule entitled ``Oil and 
                        Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, 
                        Reconstructed, and Modified Sources'' (81 Fed. 
                        Reg. 35824 (June 3, 2016));
                            (iii) the regulatory impact analysis 
                        entitled ``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
                            (iv)(I) the document entitled ``Addendum to 
                        Technical Support Document on Social Cost of 
                        Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis under 
                        Executive Order 12866: Application of the 
                        Methodology to Estimate the Social Cost of 
                        Methane and the Social Cost of Nitrous Oxide'', 
                        published by the Interagency Working Group on 
                        Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases, United States 
                        Government, in August 2016; or
                            (II) any successor or substantially related 
                        document; and
                    (B) any other estimate of the monetized damages 
                associated with an incremental increase in methane 
                emissions in a given year.
            (4) Social cost of nitrous oxide.--The term ``social cost 
        of nitrous oxide'' means--
                    (A) the estimate of the social cost of nitrous 
                oxide described in--
                            (i) the document entitled ``Addendum to 
                        Technical Support Document on Social Cost of 
                        Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis under 
                        Executive Order 12866: Application of the 
                        Methodology to Estimate the Social Cost of 
                        Methane and the Social Cost of Nitrous Oxide'', 
                        published by the Interagency Working Group on 
                        Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases, United States 
                        Government, in August 2016; or
                            (ii) any other successor or substantially 
                        related document; and
                    (B) any other estimate of the monetized damages 
                associated with an incremental increase in nitrous 
                oxide emissions in a given year.

SEC. 4. PROHIBITION ON CONSIDERING THE SOCIAL COST OF GREENHOUSE GAS, 
              INCLUDING THE SOCIAL COST OF CARBON, THE SOCIAL COST OF 
              METHANE, AND THE SOCIAL COST OF NITROUS OXIDE.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Energy, under any authority, the 
Administrator, under the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), the 
Secretary of the Interior, under any authority, and the Chair of the 
Council on Environmental Quality, under the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), may not consider the 
social cost of carbon, social cost of methane, or social cost of 
nitrous oxide--
            (1) as part of any cost-benefit analysis required under--
                    (A) any law;
                    (B) Executive Order 12866 (5 U.S.C. 601 note; 
                relating to regulatory planning and review); or
                    (C) Executive Order 13563 (5 U.S.C. 601 note; 
                relating to improving regulation and regulatory 
                review);
            (2) in any rulemaking;
            (3) in the issuance of any guidance;
            (4) in taking any other agency action; or
            (5) as a justification for any rulemaking, guidance 
        document, or agency action.
    (b) Exception.--The Secretary of Energy, the Administrator, the 
Secretary of the Interior, and the Chair of the Council on 
Environmental Quality may consider the social cost of carbon, social 
cost of methane, or social cost of nitrous oxide in carrying out an 
activity described in subsection (a) only if, after the date of 
enactment of this Act--
            (1) a Federal law is enacted that explicitly authorizes the 
        consideration; or
            (2) the Secretary of Energy, the Administrator, the 
        Secretary of the Interior, or the Chair of the Council on 
        Environmental Quality uses an estimate for the social cost of 
        carbon, social cost of methane, or social cost of nitrous oxide 
        that--
                    (A) complies with the requirements of the document 
                of the Office of Management and Budget entitled 
                ``Circular A-4'' and dated September 17, 2003;
                    (B) uses the discount rates of 3 and 7 percent 
                specified in that document;
                    (C) considers only the domestic costs and benefits 
                of the activity; and
                    (D) uses only--
                            (i) the most up to date and empirically 
                        estimated equilibrium climate sensitivity 
                        distributions; and
                            (ii) realistic time horizons.

SEC. 5. REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATOR.

    Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, 
the Administrator, in coordination and consultation with the Secretary 
of Energy, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Chair of the Council 
on Environmental Quality, shall submit to the Committees on Energy and 
Commerce and Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the 
Committees on Environment and Public Works and Energy and Natural 
Resources of the Senate a report describing the number of proposed and 
final rulemakings, guidance documents, and agency actions that, since 
January 2009, have used the social cost of carbon, the social cost of 
methane, or the social cost of nitrous oxide, including the use of the 
social cost of carbon, the social cost of methane, or the social cost 
of nitrous oxide as part of any cost-benefit analysis required under 
Executive Order 12866 (5 U.S.C. 601 note; relating to regulatory 
planning and review) or other relevant authority.
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