WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement in response to President Obama’s National Climate Assessment released today:
“This climate assessment seems conveniently timed for the week the Senate could be debating the need to approve the Keystone XL as well as expediting the export of liquefied natural gas. Now that another climate change billionaire, Tom Steyer, has entered the scene and put at least $100 million on the campaign table, the President and my colleagues are jumping at opportunities to sideline critical domestic energy opportunities for the United States and instead discuss global warming alarmism. Fear tactics and money are powerful tools in politics.
“With this report, the President is attempting to once again distract Americans from his unchecked regulatory agenda that is costing our nation millions of job opportunities and our ability to be energy independent.
“If the President’s climate change agenda is about more than just fundraising, electioneering and social engineering, then I strongly urge the President to first start convincing the American people of his convictions by enforcing transparency and accountability within his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This starts with ending the political gimmickry of the systematic delaying of regulations, which is leaving Americans blinded to their devastating effects until after critical elections. We saw the Obama Administration intentionally delay EPA regulations until after the 2012 presidential elections, and we are seeing it again today with the decision to withhold the new power plant rule an unprecedented 66-extra days so that it doesn’t have to be finalized until well after the 2014 elections.
“Another step the President can take is to force the EPA to abide by the Clean Air Act law that requires the agency to report the whole economic impact for each of its rules, a requirement the agency has yet to fulfill since written by Congress as an accountability mechanism more than 30 years ago. The EPA instead distorts the impact of regulations, disregards the costs, and fails to give the full picture of how these rules are making domestic energy less affordable and less reliable. Consider D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s dissent on the mercury and air toxics (MATS) rule in April. He said that the ‘problem here is that EPA did not even consider the costs,’ highlighting that the costs are ‘huge, about $9.6 billion a year – that’s billion with a b – by EPA’s own calculation.’ We can all agree that natural variations in the climate are taking place, but man-made global warming still remains a theory. The President’s climate change policies will only cause a greater disparity in our nation’s income gap and prevent our nation from achieving its full economic potential.”