The past two weeks have seen The Tribune's opinion and politics pages teeming with indignation over the decision of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and the Subcommittee on the Environment, which I chair, to issue a subpoena to the Environmental Protection Agency. The articles in question have made several points that need correcting.
As background, the EPA is currently drafting regulations that the agency itself admits will cost the U.S. economy up to $90 billion a year. Many experts believe the actual cost may be much higher. To be clear, we are not attacking current air regulations, but are concerned about the basis for future rules. While there may be room to debate the merits of President Obama's proposed regulations, it seems absurd to argue that it is unfair for Congress to ask to review the data underpinning them.
The basic question, then, is this: Before the administration creates a series of regulations that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, should it be open and honest with the American people? How could anyone, regardless of their political beliefs, feel it is a good idea for the government to make regulations without making the data underlying its decisions transparent?