Washington – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined 11 colleagues to introduce the Pollution Transparency Act to standardize the metric used by federal agencies to measure the cost of climate pollution. This counters a directive from the Trump administration to agencies to ignore existing metrics—uprooting years of progress and economic certainty—and an attempt made yesterday by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in the revised BLM methane rule to change his department’s metric without any prior consultation or transparency.
Additional cosponsors of the Pollution Transparency Act include Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).
A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Donald McEachin (D-Va.).
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. This metric was developed through a rigorous process, using the best available economics and science and revised when necessary. In March, the Trump administration directed federal agencies to ignore the existing metric and instead select their own metrics—uprooting years of progress and economic certainty.
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.
A copy of the bill text can be found here.