Administration Admits Climate Model Incomplete

Dec 18, 2009

Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) , Ranking Members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, respectively, sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson requesting the agency correct the Forest and Agriculture Sector Optimization Model (FASOM). Just this week, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tim Vilsack stated the FASOM, which is often cited in the climate change debate, is not “current” and “complete.” Chambliss and Lucas sent a similar letter to Sec. Vilsack yesterday requesting the flawed analysis be corrected, and that the Secretary report to Congress upon its completion.

Full text of the letter to Administrator Jackson is below:

The Honorable Lisa Jackson
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Jackson:

Recent comments by Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack raise concerns with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) analysis of H.R. 2454. Specifically, Secretary Vilsack indicates the agriculture and forestry model utilized by your agency, the Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model (FASOM) is not “current” and “complete.”

EPA's analysis was often cited during debate in the House of Representatives and the study had a great impact on the final vote. If there was a flaw in the analysis, then it would be prudent to correct the model and perform a more current and complete analysis on both H.R. 2454 and S. 1733. Moving forward with flawed studies will only result in bad policy and legislation.

In addition, given the importance of this issue to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, we respectfully request the EPA provide a briefing along with USDA regarding updates to the model and results from any future analysis. It is our hope that a thorough study of the House and Senate climate change bills will provide the Congress with the necessary information to make informed decisions. The impacts of these bills are too consequential to ask otherwise.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to working with you on this and other important issues to farmers and ranchers in the future.

U.S. Representative Frank Lucas (R-Okla.)
U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)