EPA continues to reject Chamber mistruths

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fired back at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce again this week, as the Chamber continues to mislead the public on EPA regulations and their impacts. Though this newest shot over the bow from the Chamber focuses on what the EPA has deemed a misleading reading of a Government Accountability Office report on the agency’s analysis of employment impacts, this is just the latest in the Chamber’s all-out misinformation campaign about EPA’s proposed rules – and the latest in the EPA’s strong rebuttals.

In a blog post titled, “A Cleaner Environment, a Stronger Economy,” EPA administrator of External Affairs and Environmental Education Tom Reynolds, wrote:

The big picture is that industry has cried wolf about job losses for almost every major EPA standard. And those doomsday predictions are always wrong – Americans have shown time and time again that we can innovate to reduce pollution and grow our economy at the same time. For more than four decades, the nation has cut air pollution by 70 percent and the economy has more than tripled.

Remember that the Chamber released its take on the EPA carbon emission regulation for existing power plants a week before the EPA even released the proposed rule.
The straw man regulatory regime that the Chamber attacked in its study was significantly stricter than the real EPA proposal – anticipating a requirement for a 42 percent emissions reduction, while the actual EPA-proposed number was 30 percent. The Chamber’s report also assumed natural gas power plants would undertake costly installations of carbon capture and storage (CCS) that is highly unlikely to occur – this represented 71 percent of the Chamber’s estimated compliance costs under the rule.

Reynolds also provided a reminder that the Washington Post Fact Checker gave politicians citing the Chamber study a “Four Pinocchio” rating – the highest number of Pinocchio’s one can get.

As Public Citizen’s Energy Director Tyson Slocum said, “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is running a political campaign masquerading as a policy shop.” Join us in informing reporters and editors of this wherever you see the Chamber’s wildly pre-emptive and inaccurate report cited.