Heartland Institute Submits Comments to EPA Over Coal-Plant Emission Rules

June 27, 2012

The Heartland Institute on Monday submitted comments objecting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule restricting emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from coal-fired electrical generating plants. Heartland urged EPA to withdraw the rule in its entirety.

The statement, authored by Heartland Institute Senior Fellow Maureen Martin, read in part: “Federal regulations of this magnitude must be based, under federal law, on the best available, peer-reviewed scientific data. The EPA is justifying its proposed rule on United Nations data prepared as of 2006. The antiquity of this data alone ought to legally disqualify any further consideration of such a rule.”

The Heartland Institute noted in its comment that the U.N.’s data have not been properly peer-reviewed. EPA’s watchdog, its own inspector general, agreed the agency’s peer-review requirements were violated by earlier EPA regulations based on this science.

Heartland also submitted into the record its two scientific volumes of research on climate change: the 856-page Climate Change Reconsidered, published in 2009; and the 416-page Climate Change Reconsidered: Interim Report, published in 2011.

The two research reports Heartland submitted also cast doubt on the substantive content of EPA’s research. Federal law requires that agencies such as EPA maximize “the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity” of information they prepare and disseminate. Such information must also be “accurate, clear, complete, and unbiased.” The science EPA used failed to meet this standard, Heartland stated.

Heartland also submitted another of its publications, Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable? In it, author Anthony Watts found nearly 90 percent of the National Weather Service’s temperature monitoring stations failed to meet the service’s siting requirements. These requirements were designed largely to avoid measuring artificially high temperatures. Two years later, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) agreed siting requirements were violated, though it concluded this was happening with only 42 percent of the stations. Still, these reports cast doubt on whether temperatures accurately have been said to be recently warming in the United States, which supposedly has the best measuring system in the world.

For more comments, or to book Heartland’s Maureen Martin on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at tnash@heartland.org and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org and 312/731-9364.

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.