U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) along with 12 Republicans sent the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) a letter on Monday asking the agency to abandon a proposed climate change rule.
The rule, initiated Nov. 14 by NASA in conjunction with the Department of Defense (DOD) and General Services Administration (GSA), implements a requirement for government contractors to disclose extensive information about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate-related financial risk as a condition for receiving a contract.
“Congress never granted NASA or the other partnering agencies the statutory authority to set the GHG emission standards for themselves or their contractors,” Commerce Republicans wrote in the letter to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
The lawmakers expressed concern the rule does not benefit NASA’s stated mission.
The mission of NASA, the senators wrote, is to “explore the unknown in air and space, innovate for the benefit of humanity, and inspire the world through discovery.”
“Attention to that critical mission will be diverted instead to a highly politicized regulation,” the letter said.
After the rule was proposed by the Biden administration during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Egypt, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Shalanda Young said the rule was an important step forward to achieve climate goals.
“As the world’s largest purchaser of goods and services, the federal government has a critical opportunity to leverage its spending power to help reduce climate risks and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” Young said.
The committee, however, noted the regulation would increase costs among federal agencies by almost $4 billion.
“As the Senators note, this regulation is estimated to impose substantial costs on federal agencies and contractors, and would empower foreign, non-governmental organizations to make policy decisions without congressional authorization,” the Senate Commerce Committee Republican Press Office wrote in a press release on Monday.
The committee raised concerns that the cost to individual contractors, many of which are small businesses, “would equal hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars upfront and annually thereafter.”
“Smaller firms with limited streams of resources compared to larger companies may have to either exit the government contracting market or consolidate with other entities,” the senators wrote.
Further concerns were raised that the rule would allow foreign, non-governmental organizations to make decisions outside of congressional approval as well as disregard standards put in place by the Science-Based Target Initiative, an organization that defines and promotes best practice in emissions reductions and net-zero targets in line with climate science.
“The rule would require American contractors to adopt arbitrary, vague standards for the measurement, disclosure, and estimation of emissions, ‘risks,’ and reduction targets that have been created and managed by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi),” the letter reads.
The committee noted the rule exempts tribes, non-profit organizations, universities, state and local governments, and “entities deriving at least 80 percent of annual revenue from federal management and operating contracts, with no scientific explanation… Making it appear the regulation has less to do with ‘science’ and more to do with political favoritism toward special interest groups.”
The senators concluded the rule should be abandoned.
“After repeated failed attempts to enact radical environmental policies through legislation, this proposed rule is another example of the administration’s strategy to implement its agenda through unelected bureaucrats,” the letter reads. “Such undemocratic policymaking will only increase costs, reduce progress, and have a chilling effect on needed energy investment in the United States.”
NASA did not respond to a request for comment.
Original News Source Link
Running For Office? Conservative Campaign Consulting – Monthly Rates!