Friday, February 11, 2011

VIDEO: Inhofe Testifies Before House Committee on Legislation to Stop EPAs Backdoor Energy Tax

Senator Inhofe was pleased to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power on Wednesday. Inhofe spoke about his draft legislation with Congressman Upton, The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which would stop EPA's backdoor cap-and-trade agenda.

Click Here to Watch Video

Thank you, Chairman Whitfield and Ranking Member Rush for the opportunity to speak to the subcommittee this morning.  I'm pleased to speak alongside Administrator Jackson and Secretary Chu on the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.   

The draft bill, sponsored by me, Rep. Upton, and Rep. Whitfield, would repeal EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.  We're doing this for one simple reason: EPA's regulations will impose enormous costs for no meaningful benefits-in other words, all pain for no climate gain. 

I have great respect for Administrator Jackson-she is doing what she thinks is right.  But I think EPA is taking the wrong course.  Let me explain.

Congress didn't allow EPA to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.  Administrator Jackson even agreed with the statement two years ago that the Clean Air Act "is not specifically designed to address greenhouse gases". 

We also know that EPA's own analysis shows its actions won't affect climate change, and the scientific basis of its endangerment finding, which the Administrator confirmed to me is the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, is flawed. 

Now I'm not here to debate science.  So let's assume-as I did during the Lieberman-Warner debate in the Senate-that predictions of more droughts, more floods, more intense storms, and more cases of disease are true.  What we know is that EPA's regulations won't affect any of this. 

EPA's analysis of the Lieberman-Warner bill shows that, without aggressive action by China and India, cap-and-trade won't reduce greenhouse gases by any meaningful amount.  The EPA also found that its regulations covering CO2 from cars would reduce global temperatures by 0.006 degrees Celsius by 2100.  In other words: no effect.

Now what if we added actions by other countries?  Dr. Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research found that full implementation of Kyoto, including action by the U.S., Europe, Canada, Russia, and others, would reduce global temperature by, at most, 0.21 degrees Celsius by 2100.  In other words, the Earth would warm about 6 percent less than it normally would. 

We know from Wharton, MIT, and others that Kyoto would cost about $300 to $400 billion annually through higher gas, food, and electricity prices.  In fact, that's about the cost of all the cap-and-trade bills we've seen since 2003.  EPA's regulations will be no different.

The point is this: it is unfair and unacceptable to ask the steel worker in Ohio, the chemical plant worker in Michigan, and the coal miner in West Virginia to sacrifice their jobs so we can reduce temperature by a barely detectable amount in 100 years. 

Yet this is exactly what the EPA is doing. The Energy Tax Prevention Act would stop EPA and protect those jobs.  It would ensure that America's manufacturers can stay here and compete against China.  And it would put Congress back in charge of deciding the nation's climate change policy.  

EPA's actions under the Clean Air Act are part of the cap-and-trade agenda.  That agenda wants higher energy prices for consumers, higher taxes for citizens, more regulations on small businesses, more restrictions on choices, and ultimately less freedom.   Supporters believe these things will stop global warming.  They won't. 

EPA claims the Supreme Court forced it to act.  Not so; the Supreme Court ruled that EPA possessed the discretion under the Clean Air Act to decide whether greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare.  EPA was given a choice, and it made the wrong choice.  The Energy Tax Prevention Act is the right choice for jobs, for consumers, for a growing economy, and for the future of America.  

Release: Upton, Whitfield, Inhofe Unveil Energy Tax Prevention Act

Link to Upton-Inhofe Myth vs. Fact

Link to Upton-Inhofe Section by Section Summary

Link to E&E Article: Inhofe will testify at House hearing on Upton's EPA bill

Congressional Energy and Environmental Policy Leaders File Amicus Brief with Supreme Court

On February 7, leading congressional energy and environmental policymakers filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in American Electric Power Company, et al.  v. State of Connecticut, et al.  to assert the sole prerogative and responsibility of the legislative and executive branches - not the judiciary - to address the environmental and economic issues of federal climate change policy. The brief, filed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK), argues strongly against the notion that a federal court is empowered or equipped to establish carbon dioxide emissions standards in response to federal common law nuisance claims.

Link to Amicus Brief  

"This case involves political and public policy matters that are being resolved by the Legislative and Executive branches of government," wrote Upton, Whitfield, and Inhofe.  "These public policy determinations are necessarily within the purview of the Congress and the Executive branch, not the Judicial branch, because of the complexity and significance of the environmental and economic issues that they raise."

The brief details actions taken by Congress and numerous federal agencies related to energy and environmental climate change policy since enactment of the Clean Air Act in 1963. The clear legislative and executive record on these issues, coupled with their complexity and significance, proves that this case presents a political question that cannot be resolved by the judicial branch.

"[C]ourts are not equipped to make judgments about the appropriate emissions standards for utilities located throughout the country. Judicial establishment of such standards would violate decades of Supreme Court precedent and unconstitutionally interfere with Congressional and Executive branch efforts to address climate change-related matters," the members wrote.

In the News...IBD Editorial: Stop EPAs Energy Tax

Investors Business Daily

Editorial: Stop EPA's Energy Tax


Link to Editorial

Federal Authority: At a contentious hearing on legislation to keep the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, Republicans rightly called global warming a power-grabbing hoax that is all pain for no gain. The assertion came at a Wednesday hearing before the House subcommittee on energy and power on the "Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011." The measure is designed to reassert the authority of Congress to levy taxes on the American people and direct public policy - powers that are being usurped by the unelected bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency.

In a power grab that rivals ObamaCare in audacity and job-killing effects, the EPA has claimed unto itself the power to regulate carbon dioxide, a byproduct of human and animal respiration and the basis for all life on earth, as a pollutant. At least with ObamaCare, Congress - our representatives - voted to pass it.

The EPA claims science has given it the justification, and the Supreme Court has given it the authority, to regulate CO2 as a pollutant and impose regulations governing virtually every aspect of American business and our daily life almost down to our lawn mowers.

Leading off the witness list was Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and a co-author of the legislation with House Committee Chairman Fred Upton.

Inhofe rightly noted that Congress deliberately did not regulate so-called greenhouse gases with the Clean Air Act, a bill that was designed to deal with air quality, not climate change.

He also observed that EPA Director Lisa Jackson herself has acknowledged the Clean Air Act "is not specifically designed to address greenhouse gases." The House-passed Waxman-Markey did, but it died with Senate inaction and the election of a new Congress, an election in which it was an issue. Along with Obama-Care, the American people also rejected the idea of taxing and regulating carbon dioxide.

Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., pointed out to Jackson, who was also called to testify, that Congress had rejected federal regulation of greenhouse gases on no fewer than three occasions. "Do you object to an up or down vote in Congress?" he asked her.

"I would not presume to tell Congress what to do," Jackson answered, saying she was acting under the authority of a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that let the EPA enforce the Clean Air Act, including heavy carbon emissions.

Inhofe disputed this, saying that while the Supreme Court said the EPA had the discretion to "decide whether greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare," it did not authorize draconian regulations based on flawed science, regulations that would impose an economy-crushing hidden tax on businesses, energy producers and American consumers.

Inhofe said he was there to question EPA's authority, not the science. But he did point out that the agency's own analysis found that its regulations covering CO2 from cars would by 2100 reduce global temperatures by 0.006 degree Celsius, an amount almost too small to measure or matter.

In his opening remarks, Inhofe also noted that Dr. Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research found that even full implementation of the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases, including action by the U.S., Europe, Canada, Russia and others, would reduce global temperatures no more than 0.21 degree Celsius by 2100.

Not along ago Inhofe related on a YouTube video: "Lisa Jackson, Obama's EPA administrator, admitted to me publicly that EPA based its action ... (issuing its CO2 endangerment finding) in good measure on the findings of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. She told me that EPA accepted those findings without any serious, independent analysis to see whether they were true."

The EPA's dangerous policy is based on flawed science that contradicts the intent of Congress and usurps its power, and its authority must be stopped. We count ourselves among those yearning to breathe free.

EPW Minority Staff Releases Bush Administration Views on Endangerment

The Minority Staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works responded to the release of a letter by former EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson on the legal implications of the Supreme Court's 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA.  The letter was released this week by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

Johnson's letter came six months before EPA released the "Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR): Regulating Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act," which explored the multitude of scientific, technical, legal and economic problems associated with making an endangerment finding for GHGs under the CAA.  As former Administrator Johnson wrote in the ANPR:

"One point is clear: the potential regulation of greenhouse gases under any portion of  the Clean Air Act could result in an unprecedented expansion of EPA authority that would have a profound effect on virtually every sector of the economy and touch every household in the land.

"I believe the ANPR demonstrates the Clean Air Act, an outdated law originally enacted  to control regional pollutants that cause direct health effects, is ill-suited for the task of regulating global greenhouse gases. Based on the analysis to date, pursuing this course of action would inevitably result in a very complicated, time-consuming and, likely, convoluted set of regulations."

Notably, given these and other considerations, EPA ultimately decided not to issue an endangerment finding.

The Obama EPA, however, ignored these concerns and issued a positive endangerment finding in December 2009.  It is now dealing with the consequences: a regulatory morass that is stalling economic growth and keeping people unemployed-all for no meaningful impact on climate change. 

After months of deliberations, the Secretaries of Energy, Commerce, Agriculture and Transportation, among many other officials, expressed overwhelming opposition to EPA making a positive endangerment finding, noting the array of legal and practical complexities associated with regulating GHGs under the CAA, as well as the many unresolved technical and scientific issues involving climate change and its causes. 

Also, John Marburger, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote, "Anthropogenically driven climate impacts are in nearly every case indistinguishable from naturally occurring phenomena. The anthropogenic contribution is apparent primarily in retrospective statistical analyses, and its adverse impacts cannot be readily distinguished from impacts that would have occurred in the absence of anthropogenic warming."

Here are excerpts from a letter sent from Susan Dudley, then head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at OMB to Stephen Johnson on EPA's draft ANPR, as well as excerpts of a letter from the Secretaries of Agriculture, DOE, Commerce, and Transportation to Dudley on same, both from July 2008:

Dudley letter:

"As reflected in these letters, there is strong disagreement with many of the legal, analytical, economic, science and policy interpretations in the draft; however, these letters do reflect agreement with you that the Clean Air Act is a deeply flawed and unsuitable vehicle for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Interagency reviewers concluded upon reading the draft that trying to address greenhouse gas emissions through the existing provisions of the Clean Air Act will not only harm the U.S. economy, but will fail to provide an effective response to the global challenge of climate change." [Emphasis added] Letter from Susan Dudley, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, to Stephen Johnson, Administrator, EPA, July 10, 2008

Secretaries' letter:

"The EPA staff now has prepared a draft suggesting that the Clean Air Act can be both workable and effective for addressing global climate change by regulating GHG emissions from stationary and mobile sources of every kind.  Our agencies have serious concerns with this suggestion because it does not fairly recognize the enormous-and we believe insurmountable-burdens, difficulties, and costs, and likely limited benefits, of using the Clean Air Act to regulate GHG emissions...

"Moreover, some might read the draft's discussion of an array of GHG regulatory constructs to prejudge the question of endangerment, even though there are critical open issues that must be addressed and resolved in making that legal determination and which must be decided before GHG emissions can be regulated under the Clean Air Act."

Letter signed by Mary Peters, Secretary of Transportation; Carol Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce; Edward Schafer, Secretary of Agriculture; Samuel Bodman, Secretary of Energy to Susan Dudley, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, July 10, 2008

Link to EPA ANPR on greenhouse gas regulation

LISTEN: Inhofe on Grandy Group Talks About Effort to Stop EPA Energy Tax and New Alliance on Ethanol

In a radio interview on February 7, Senator Inhofe spoke on Grandy Group about the effort to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, and his new alliance on ethanol. 

Listen to Radio Interview 

Links to Information Discussed in Interview

Release: Upton, Whitfield, Inhofe Unveil Energy Tax Prevention Act to Protect America's Jobs & Families

Link to "The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011"

The Oklahoman: Inhofe, environmentalists on same side (this time) -02/06/11

VIDEO: Oklahoma Matters with Ed Kelley: Ethanol has given Jim Inhofe a strange bedfellow - 02/03/11

Tulsa World: Inhofe's new allies on ethanol issue surprising - 01/30/11

Tulsa World: Sullivan, Inhofe blast EPA ruling on ethanol - 01/22/11

Inhofe Urges EPW Oversight Hearings of Ethanol Policy

In the News...Politico: NRC Action

Politico: Morning Energy

By Josh Voorhees

February 8, 2011

Link to Article  

NRC ACTION - Two EPW Republicans cranked out a stiff letter to the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Committee yesterday over the "timeliness" of his agency's relicensing process when it comes to plants that have seen organized resistance. "[T]he agency's reputation has now been compromised," said Jim Inhofe and David Vitter, ranking member on its nuclear subcommittee in the last Congress, because the NRC now has a "dual standard."

"The degree of intervention or controversy should not be used as an excuse for delays in decision-making," the two wrote. "[T]he Commission has incentivized opponents to intervene solely because the NRC will delay... relicensing processes." The letter was sent in response to the NRC's comments to Fred Upton's critique of the agency late last month. The disgruntled senators want a reply by the 24th. The letter: