Sending Office: Honorable A. Donald McEachin
H. R. 3981,
the Pollution Transparency Act
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03); Nanette Diaz
Barragán (CA-44); Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Senate companion (S. 1930):
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Kamala Harris (D-CA); Ron Wyden (D-OR); Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI); Maggie Hassan (D-NH); Ben Cardin (D-MD); Jeff Merkley (D-OR); Patty
Murray (D-WA); Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); Elizabeth Warren (D-MA); Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Please join me in cosponsoring H.R. 3981, the Pollution Transparency Act, legislation to
standardize the metric used by federal agencies to measure the cost of climate pollution.
In the long term, climate change poses an existential threat to our society — but in the short term, it is easy to ignore
the forces driving that change. The Pollution Transparency Act would address that problem by requiring federal agencies to use consistent, science-based figures to quantify the long-term costs of greenhouse gas emissions in their decision-making.
More specifically, the Pollution Transparency Act would:
codify per-unit cost figures for carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions that reflect expected damage to property, ecosystem services, and human health,
among other consequences;
ensure that federal agencies consider those specific cost figures in rulemaking that requires a regulatory impact analysis, or in substantial procurement decisions;
create a path by which cost figures could be developed for other greenhouse gases; and
provide for a transparent, scientific, evidence-based process whereby cost figures would be periodically revised to reflect new information or changes in conditions.
The Pollution Transparency Act would initially require all federal agencies to use the most recent Obama administration cost
figures. It would re-create an interagency working group, recently disbanded by President Trump, to periodically update those figures, and it would ensure that group had access to objective, expert advice from a separate scientific review committee.
To request additional information, or to sign onto the bill as a co-sponsor, please contact Corey Solow at firstname.lastname@example.org
A. Donald McEachin
Member of Congress
Background on the
Pollution Transparency Act:
Since the George W. Bush administration, the federal government has been required to consider the economic damages that result from climate pollution in the rulemaking
process. The Obama administration used those rulings as the basis for its development in 2010 of a single, government-wide “Social Cost of Carbon” (SCC) standard — and, later, of comparable standards for methane and nitrous oxide. From 2010 onwards, federal
agencies consistently used these SCC figures in cost/benefit-based regulatory decision-making. In March, the Trump administration directed federal agencies to ignore the existing metric and instead select their own metrics — endangering years of progress and
regulatory stability. In practice, this change will likely produce far lower cost figures, which would compromise government’s ability to effectively curb emissions and limit climate change.
- The Pollution
Transparency Act would codify
a scientifically-developed value for the cost of climate pollution across all federal agencies. The requirement to consider this cost already exists; this legislation would simply streamline the regulatory process by standardizing the metric and re-establishing
a process to revise it through a public process. Ultimately, it would create greater market and regulatory certainty by ensuring federal decisions are transparent, standardized, and grounded in facts.
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