Sen. Voinovich stalls confirmation of EPA deputy, demands new climate-bill analysis
Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) is holding up the confirmation of a deputy administrator at the U.S. EPA until the agency coughs up numbers on the House climate bill that are to his liking.
Voinovich sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson [PDF] on Monday saying that he has placed a procedural hold on the appointment of Robert Perciasepe, who has been nominated to serve as second-in-command at the EPA.
Voinovich made it clear in his letter that it’s not about Perciasepe, who previously served as the assistant administrator in the EPA water and air offices during the Clinton administration and is now chief operating officer at the National Audubon Society. Rather, it’s about Voinovich’s desire for a new EPA analysis of the cap-and-trade bill that the House passed last month. Voinovich serves on the Environment and Public Works Committee, which is responsible for the confirmation of EPA appointees.
From his letter:
I have a procedural hold on the nomination of Robert Perciasepe as the Deputy Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This hold does not serve as a reflection on Mr. Perciasepe’s ability to perform in the role of the Deputy Administrator. Rather, it is based on my continued dissatisfaction with the EPA’s analysis of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act of 2009, and the agency’s subsequent response to these concerns.
The EPA has already produced two analyses of the bill, both of which indicated that its costs for American households would be low. But Voinovich believes the EPA’s estimate “contains significant flaws that mask the economic consequences of the bill,” and that these “flaws center around the agency’s assumptions regarding the availability of certain low-carbon technologies and the widespread availability of international offsets.” Voinovich is asking for a “refined analysis” from the agency ASAP.
But if he wants predictions that the bill would devastate the American economy, will the EPA ever be able to satisfy him?