The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Environmental Protection Agency did state the “opinion” that the finding’s technical support document, which summarized the key findings of the National Research Council, U.S. Global Change Research Program, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was more than just a summary, but a “highly influential scientific assessment” that required more rigorous review. The Office of Management and Budget, which sets the rules for such procedures, disagreed with the OIG. Despite these bureaucratic concerns, the OIG began its report with a sentence that demonstrated that the endangerment finding is legally and scientifically solid:
EPA met statutory requirements for rulemaking and generally followed requirements and guidance related to ensuring the quality of the supporting technical information.
The OIG’s recommendations: revise a flowchart on peer review, include more clarifying statements, and establish explicit criteria for using scientific information from outside organizations.
Attempting to create a new scandal, Inhofe highlighted the opinion of the OIG that more rigorous procedures should have been followed, saying that “the endangerment finding, the very foundation of President Obama’s job-destroying regulatory agenda, was rushed, biased, and flawed.”
Right-wing blogs are trying desperately to twist this confirmation of the endangerment finding’s integrity into a story of corruption, using Inhofe’s press release to falsely claim “EPA’s own inspector general calls greenhouse gas science flawed.”
According to the OIG, the estimated cost of the report is $297,385.