Senate Commerce Republicans Blast Biden Admin for Imposing Costly Climate Agenda on NASA’s Space Exploration

March 6, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Republican Members led by Ranking Member Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today called on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to rescind its costly, radical proposed rule to require government contractors to provide extensive information about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In the letter, Commerce Republicans wrote:

“We are writing to express concern with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) proposed joint rule requiring federal contractors to calculate and disclose greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and “climate-related financial risks,” and to reduce emissions 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.

“It is the mission of NASA 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. As for the environmental benefits, the proposed rule admits they would be hard to even quantify and that ‘increased public transparency and accountability may prompt suppliers to take action following a ‘what gets measured gets managed’ mantra[…]’

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 regulation is estimated to increase total costs among federal agencies and contractors by almost $4 billion. If NASA does not need any of these funds to fulfill its mission, then those resources should be returned to the Treasury. The costs 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. In either scenario, there would be less competition, a major problem already facing federal contracting. Furthermore, the proposed rule would outsource important decisions about policy tradeoffs to foreign, non-governmental organizations that have not been recognized by Congress.”

The Senators conclude:

“This 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. Such undemocratic policymaking will only increase costs, reduce progress, and have a chilling effect on needed energy investment in the United States.”

The full text of the letter can be read here.