Washington D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today sent letters to the president’s chief of staff and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) questioning news reports that outside environmental groups and senior White House officials are urging President Obama to disregard EPA’s suggested final ozone standard in favor of a stricter limit.

For example, one report states that “EPA appears intent on finalizing a ‘primary’ health-based NAAQS [National Ambient Air Quality Standards] of 70 ppb, but faces calls from the White House Council on Environmental Quality to choose a stricter 68 ppb limit,” and that outside groups are meeting with the administration “to argue for their preferred level for the air standard.”

Chairman Smith: “If enacted, this rule is likely to be the costliest rule EPA has ever issued. Any new lower ozone standard lacks scientific support and could cause devastating harm to the economy. It is even more troubling that whatever scientific analyses used by EPA to determine its final recommended limit are being disregarded by White House officials for purely political reasons. The American people deserve a thorough, science-based analysis of the proposed ozone rule, not one based on partisan political considerations.”

To assist the Committee’s efforts to ensure adherence to sound science and objective analysis in agency rulemaking, the letter requests documents and communications between EPA and the White House as well as all communications between the White House and outside environmental groups relating to the final ozone regulations.

Smith’s letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy can be found HERE
Smith’s letter to White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough can be found HERE