Inhofe responds to Obama’s climate change speech

InhofeSenate2“After President Obama’s speech on global warming, it became clear that Gina McCarthy will be used as the tool of the administration for all of these regulations that will destroy the American economy.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, yesterday gave a speech on the senate floor detailing his opposition to President Obama’s aggressive climate agenda. Inhofe warns that the nominee to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Gina McCarthy, will be used as the administration’s tool to implement the President’s climate regulations which will destroy the American economy.

InhofePresentsSen. Inhofe remarks as prepared for delivery:

Two weeks ago, the President gave a beautiful speech about global warming.  He said that the world is going to come to an end if we don’t act, that it is our moral obligation to make sure our planet is saved for future generations, and that it’s all up to us.  And to be successful, we must regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

For more than a decade, environmentalists have been pressuring Democrats to do this.  And we all know why.  Richard Lindzen, a world renowned scientist at MIT said that regulation of carbon dioxide is a “bureaucrat’s dream,” because “if you control carbon, you control life.”

GlobalWarmingAlarmistThe environmentalists want to control our lives – they want to determine what cars we drive, what kind of houses we live in, how our cities are built, and so on.  And they can do all of this by regulating carbon dioxide emissions.

But Democrats, particularly in the Senate, have been unsuccessful at passing legislation to accomplish this.

The last debate was in 2009 on the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.  It would have regulated only the largest emitters – those with 25,000 tons, and it would have cost the economy $400 billion per year.  So we rejected it. But because the President owes his environmental base, he is now taking unilateral regulatory action to regulate greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide.

He’s doing it under the Clean Air Act, which is significantly more costly than any bill we’ve considered.  It regulates any facility that emits at least 250 tons of carbon dioxide – which would apply not only to the larger emitters like power plants, but to every refinery, oil and gas well, every manufacturing facility, plastics plant, iron smelter, steel mill, every apartment building , church and school.

So do not let him fool you into believe that he’ll stop at power plants.  He is in an all-out war on fossil fuels and affordable energy.  And legally if he goes down this path, he will not be able to stop there.  He will have to keep going.

And he’s doing it unilaterally, just for the United States.  If you believe man is causing global warming – and I don’t, it’s a hoax – then you should be concerned about worldwide emissions.  If all we do is lower our own emissions without convincing China, India, and Mexico to do the same, then U.S. manufacturers and producers will close up shop here and go overseas.  Over there they have fewer regulations than we do – so emissions will actually get worse under the President’s proposal.

Lisa Jackson, President Obama’s former EPA Administrator, said in a 2009 EPW hearing that unilateral U.S. action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would have no effect on climate.  She said, “I believe … that U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels.”

But you won’t hear the President talking about this.  You won’t hear him talking about the cost, even though they will shrink our economy by more than $400 billion per year, require the EPA to hire an additional 230,000 employees and spend an additional $21 billion to implement the regulatory regime.  These are EPA’s figures.

And you won’t hear him talking about it because he knows it’s a losing argument.

In fact, the day before the President gave his speech, he had his campaign send out talking points to all of the activists he has working on his behalf.  They told them exactly what to talk about, and exactly what not to talk about.

I think it’s worthwhile for us to go over this right now.

We have an obligation to act.

The memo continues: “We have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that’s not polluted and damaged by carbon pollution.”

Notice –they’re not even talking about climate change or greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide anymore.  None of those things sell…so now they’re calling it carbon pollution because no one likes pollution.

Communities all over America are already being harmed.

The memo continues: “Climate Change is already harming Americans all over the country.  Cleaning up after climate-driven disasters last year cost the average taxpayer over $1,100. (Or cost taxpayers nearly $100 billion, one of the largest non-defense discretionary budget items in 2012).”

These figures come from the total cost of all natural disasters.

Does it make any sense to attribute every single natural disaster, and its total cost, to global warming (or carbon pollution, as the President says), even if you believe global warming is true?  I didn’t think so.

The President’s climate plan is full of common sense solutions including first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

The memo continues: “That’s why we applaud President Obama’s climate plan, which is full of common-sense solutions, starting with his call for the EPA to limit the carbon pollution” (it’s not greenhouse gases anymore) “from power plants.  While we set limits for arsenic, mercury and lead, we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want.  It’s time to set a limit on pollution that affects public health, and that’s why it’s so important that the President is rising to the challenge.”

What this demonstrates to me is that the President is no longer fighting greenhouse gases – which he says causes global warming – but is instead fighting against “carbon pollution.”

But if “carbon pollution” is simply carbon dioxide – or CO2, and it’s dangerous to our health, what are they going to do about the air we breathe?  Don’t we emit CO2 every time we exhale?  Is this the pollution they’re talking about?

Also in the Memo, the President’s alarmists are given a concrete list of things to talk about and things not to talk about, as outlined on [Chart 2].

Let’s highlight a few of them.

The very first point is the instruction to not talk about the cost of the regulations.  The Memo says “Don’t lead with straight economic arguments.”  Why?  Because global warming legislation will cost between $300 billion and $400 billion per year, and the regulations will cost much more.

Charles River Associates, in their study on the Waxman-Markey bill, reported that the policies would cost the economy $350 billion per year in 2030 and $730 billion per year in 2050.

The Heritage Foundation said that the average family would see its direct energy cost rise by over $24,000 in the first twenty years following the bill’s enactment.

The costs will be far higher under the President’s unilateral regulatory actions that are bypassing Congress.  They cost will be so high no one has even bothered to figure it out.

The Memo also instructs the President’s alarmists to talk about his actions being “the latest in a series of steady and responsible steps the administration has taken” to combat global warming.  In that vein, however, the Memo instructs them to NOT “overstate the magnitude of the action being taken.”

In other words, the President does NOT want his people talking about this being the first of many steps to regulating every refinery, manufacturer, oil and gas well, steel mill, plastics facility, every apartment building, school, and hospital, which will require the EPA to hire an additional 23,000 bureaucrats to enforce the rules, as required under the Clean Air Act.

Next, the Memo instructs alarmists to “discuss the impacts – carbon pollution is bad for the health of our kids and our planet,” but to NOT “debate the validity or consensus of the science that is already settled.”

Well, the science is far from settled, and since when does carbon dioxide – which we all breathe out every minute – hurt our kids?

The Memo also instructs alarmists to “inform audiences about the nature of the problem, who is at fault, and what can be done,” but to NOT “debate the increase in electricity prices.  Instead pivot to health and clean air message.”

In other words, don’t admit the truth –that this overactive, unilateral regulation will do nothing more than increase electricity prices and ultimately shut down our economy by imposing EPA regulations on every single industry and dramatically expand the federal government’s involvement in our lives – without doing anything to reduce global CO2 emissions.

The last thing I’ll mention from the Memo is that it says to “discuss modernizing and retooling power plants and innovation that will create green jobs,” but to NOT “try to suggest net job increases.”

In other words – don’t mention that this is going to shut down every coal, oil, and natural gas power plant we have in the country and kill thousands of jobs at manufacturers around the nation.

The President only wants to talk about the benefits of his regulatory actions, and not about the cost.  But what we have to remember is that even the benefits are false and overstated, because they do not rely on the true cost of the regulations.  But we should not be surprised – this is coming from the administration that thinks more regulations means more jobs.

These are the talking points, but the mechanics of these new and future EPA greenhouse gas rules will be done by the EPA.

Gina McCarthy is currently being considered to take the top job at the agency.

I like Gina.  We have a good personal relationship, but she is the one who is responsible for all of the worst regulations that have come out of the EPA in the last four years under Lisa Jackson’s leadership.  And it’s from the Air Office – where she has the most expertise – that all the worst regulations will come in the future.

And after President Obama’s speech on global warming, it became clear that Gina McCarthy will be used as the tool of the administration for all of these regulations that will destroy the American economy.

In the last four years we’ve had Utility MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) ($100 billion; 1.65 million jobs lost); Boiler MACT ($63.3 billion and 800,000 jobs lost); and Regional Haze – which will increase the cost of Oklahoman’s electricity bills by over $1.8 billion.

And in the next few years even worse regulations are likely to come out.  Greenhouse gas regulations may be the worst, but there’s also the Ozone NAAQS which no one knows about.  Adjustments to that rule could put 2,800 counties out of attainment – including all of them in Oklahoma.   And once you’re out of attainment, you can kiss any energy development, new manufacturing opportunity, or any other business expansion goodbye.  They won’t be able to get a permit from the EPA.

Gina McCarthy is the face of President Obama’s over-regulatory agenda that is threatening our energy independence and putting our economic future in peril.

We cannot allow these regulations to move forward; and we cannot allow Gina McCarthy’s nomination to move forward.

And we know that yesterday, Heather Zichal, Obama’s Climate Czar, was on the Hill huddling in a secret meetings with the chief alarmists like Senator Boxer, Senator Whitehouse, Senator Murphy, Senator Baldwin, Senator Carper and others.  In the meeting, they talked about the President’s plan, and presumably this memo with word-smithed talking points from the memo we talked about earlier.

Their goal is not to protect the American people, it is to control them.  They want top-down control, and carbon dioxide regulations will give this to them.  And their talking points memo proves that they’re doing all they can to craft their message in a way that convinces Americans that they’re not trying to crush our economy – but instead trying to help.  But the truth is – their regulatory agenda will only cause more unemployment, lower economic growth, lower take home pay, and a less prosperous nation.