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Pruitt To End A Tactic Obama Used To Justify Massive EPA Rules

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Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt will soon end a regulatory practice the Obama administration employed to justify imposing costly air quality rules.

EPA will soon stop relying on “co-benefits” in crafting new regulations, Pruitt told a gathering at the conservative Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, according to two sources with knowledge of Pruitt’s remarks.

President Donald Trump’s administration would soon stop the “social cost of carbon” estimate from being used crafting regulations, Pruitt also said. EPA used the metric to justify the Clean Power Plan, which is now slated for repeal.

Pruitt offered few details, but the SCC would likely be a government-wide decision, not relegated to EPA alone. Trump issued an executive order in 2017 to review the SCC.

Tackling “co-benefits,” however, would be a major shift away from how EPA crafted regulations during the Obama years. “Co-benefits” refer to the monetized health benefits from reducing air pollutants a specific regulation is not targeting.

Obama EPA officials and environmentalists calculating “co-benefits” allowed for officials to take into account the full public health benefits of regulations. However, EPA’s use of “co-benefits” had gotten out of control, conservative and industry groups said.

Republicans criticized EPA’s use of “co-benefits” to justify massive regulatory schemes that would have otherwise made no economic sense.

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