Friday, September 23, 2011

Inhofe Applauds Passage of TRAIN Act in the House

Washington, D.C.-Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today applauded the passage in the House of the TRAIN Act.  This bill mirrors the Comprehensive Assessment of Regulations on the Economy (CARE) Act, which was introduced in March by Senator Inhofe and Senator Johanns (R-NE), Ranking Member of the EPW Subcommittee on Oversight.  It requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in conjunction with other relevant federal departments and agencies, to determine the total cost and the impact on the economy of several major rules the Agency is preparing to issue. 

"I applaud the passage in the House of the TRAIN Act - a bill that brings us one step closer to putting the brakes on EPA's runaway regulatory train, which is currently on a path to destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs and cause electricity shortages across the country," Senator Inhofe said.    

"As we look for every opportunity to cut costs in government, the focus is often on spending and taxes.  But what most people don't realize is that the cost of regulation is just as damaging to our economy. The only difference is that it's currently less detectible.  This bill finally brings the full costs of EPA's forthcoming regulations to light so that the Agency can no longer hide the extent to which its rules will harm jobs, consumers, and small businesses. 

"Over the past few months, Senate Democrats have gone on record in various ways to rein in the EPA; now even President Obama is facing up to the fact that the Agency's rules are placing severe financial burdens on our economy.  There is no doubt that the $90 billion annual pricetag of EPA's proposed tightening of the ozone standard was a key factor in his decision to ask Administrator Jackson to withdraw the rule. 

"I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation that will finally detail the enormous costs of EPA's overregulation, and hold the Agency accountable for all pending train wreck rules, which are unprecedented in the harm they pose to the American economy." 

Background on the CARE Act, companion legislation to the TRAIN Act

The CARE bill would establish a federal committee, led by the Department of Commerce, to conduct this analysis.  The committee would include, among others, the EPA Administrator, the Secretaries of Agriculture, Energy, Defense, and Labor, the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.  The committee would examine the economic impacts of several EPA regulations on:

 - employment, including job levels in each segment of the economy and each region of the United States, including coal-producing regions;

 - economic development, including production levels and labor demands in manufacturing, commercial, and other sectors of the economy;

 - the electric power sector, including potential impacts on electric reliability, energy security, and retail electricity rates;

 - the domestic refining and petrochemical sector, including potential impacts on supply, international competitiveness, and wholesale and retail transportation fuels, heating oil and petrochemicals prices; and

 - State and local governments, including potential impacts on governmental operations and local communities from any reductions in State and local tax revenues

The rules the committee would examine would include, among others:

 - Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards for power plants;

 - National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter and ozone;

 - New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gases covering utilities and refineries;

 - Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) preconstruction review permits for greenhouse gases;

 - Cooling water intake structures under 316(b) of the Clean Water Act

 - Regional Haze; and

 - Coal Combustion Waste under the Solid Waste Disposal Act

In the News... Tulsa World: Boxer Dons OU Jersey to Thank Inhofe

Tulsa World

By JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau

Link to Article

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who heads a key committee on transportation, donned a University of Oklahoma jersey Wednesday to thank Sen. Jim Inhofe for his role in getting a recent highway extension bill approved.

"Of course, the ranking member was just remarkable,'' said Boxer, who had to assure the Oklahoma Republican her surprise had nothing to do with global warming.

"I even watched the game,'' she said, referring to Saturday's 23-13 Sooner victory over Florida State.

Other Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works did not miss a beat after Boxer opened up her jacket to reveal her Sooner jersey with its No. 1.

"Madam Chair, the problem is you just lost Alabama and LSU members,'' Sen. David Vitter, R-La., quipped.

Boxer and Inhofe, who clash over top environmental issues such as global warming -- she accepts it; he calls it a hoax -- but the pair have a history of working together on infrastructure measures such as the transportation bills. 


Inhofe says President's Plan Devastating for Jobs and Economy

Washington, D.C.-Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, responded to President Obama's proposal to impose higher taxes on oil and gas companies to pay for his stimulus plan, which he laid out in today's speech. 

"President Obama is still determined to wage his needless war on American energy jobs by increasing taxes on oil and gas development - an agenda that would be devastating for Oklahoma and the nation, and undermine our energy security," Senator Inhofe said. 

"His tax proposal is nothing new: it mirrors the Sanders amendment (SA. 4318) to the Tax Extenders Bill, which was rejected last Congress by overwhelming bipartisan opposition (35 to 61) at a time when Democrats had their largest majority in over 30 years.  Both sides of the aisle recognized that such tax increases would only raise gas prices, destroy thousands of American oil and gas jobs, and make the United States even more dependent on foreign oil.

"The United States has the largest recoverable resources of oil, gas, and coal of any country in the world.  Unleashing these resources will improve our energy security and give our economy a much-needed boost, while Obama's tax increases will do just the opposite.  When will President Obama realize that his tax and spend policies have failed and finally allow American energy development lead us on the road to recovery?"


In the News...WSJ Editorial: High School Physics

Wall Street Journal

Editorial: 'High School Physics' - Another Nobel laureate breaks from the climate change pack.

Link to Editorial

That's how Al Gore described the science of climate change this week, by which we suppose he meant it's elementary and unchallengeable. Well, Mr. Vice President, meet Ivar Giaever, a 1973 physics Nobel Laureate who resigned last week from the American Physical Society in protest over the group's insistence that evidence of man-made global warming is "incontrovertible."

In an email to the society, Mr. Giaever-who works at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute-wrote that "The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me . . . that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period."

Mr. Giaever was an American Physical Society fellow, an honor bestowed on "only half of one percent" of the members, according to a spokesman. He follows in the footsteps of University of California at Santa Barbara Emeritus Professor of Physics Harold Lewis, a former APS fellow who resigned in 2010, calling global warming "the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist."

Other dissenters include Stanford University physicist and Nobelist Robert B. Laughlin, deceased green revolution icon and Nobelist Norman Borlaug, Princeton physicist William Happer and World Federation of Scientists President Antonino Zichichi. Our point is not that all of these men agree on climate change, much less mankind's contribution to it, only that to one degree or another they maintain an open mind about warming or what to do about it.

One of the least savory traits of climate-change advocates is how they've tried to bully anyone who keeps an open mind. This is true of many political projects, but it is or ought to be anathema to the scientific method. With the cap-and-trade movement stymied, Mr. Gore and the climate clan have become even more arch in their dismissals of anyone who disagrees. Readers can decide who they'd rather study physics with-Professor Giaever, or Mr. Gore's list of politically certified instructors.

Opening Statement: Full Committee Business Meeting, September 21, 2011

Thank you, Madame Chair.   I just want to mention a couple of concerns I have with some of the items on today’s agenda.

S. 893, the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program Act of 2011:   I agree feral swine are a serious problem because they damage private property, harm native ecosystems and spread disease.  However, given the severe fiscal crisis we find ourselves in, I oppose establishing a new program within Fish and Wildlife to address this.  Instead I would like to see existing Fish and Wildlife resources used to assist states in developing plans eradicate feral swine populations in their states.  Thus, I will oppose S. 893 as drafted.

Next, S. 1400, the Gulf Coast Restore Act:  I appreciate the time and effort that members from the Gulf Coast along with the Chair have spent in trying to address the long-term damages caused by the BP Gulf Coast spill of last April.   However, as I have shared with several of the principles, I am concerned about the precedent this bill will be setting.  Specifically, I do not want to send the message that fines are revenue streams, and it seems to me that S. 1400 is doing just that.

As drafted, there are several issues that I believe need to be addressed before S. 1400 can pass the full Senate.  I will discuss those in greater length when we get to the bill, and I hope there will be an opportunity to work with the authors of the bill to address my concerns.

Finally, we will be considering the nomination of Ken Kopocis to be EPA Assistant Administrator for Water.  Ken is a Congressional staffer who not only served at EPW as a Committee staffer but, for those of us who served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, we got to know Ken as “the go-to guy” for water infrastructure.  He is ideally suited for this position.   Unfortunately, his nomination faces some obstacles not because of Ken but because the Obama Administration has chosen to use the Office of Water as a way to impose their view of the world on farmers and businesses through used of “guidance” as opposed to rulemaking.  Until such time as we can reach some type of agreement with the Administration on their inappropriate use of “guidance,” I don’t believe that Ken’s nomination can move forward.

Thank you, Madame Chair.