Friday, September 26, 2008

Offshore Drilling and Oil Shale Access a "Victory for the American People" - Inhofe Says

Offshore Drilling and Oil Shale Access a ‘Victory for the American People’ - Inhofe Says 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today joined several of his Senate Republican colleagues to welcome the expiration of the ban on offshore oil drilling and the leasing of oil shale.

“Allowing the moratorium that bars offshore development and oil shale exploration to expire is a victory for the American people and our goal of energy security,” Senator Inhofe said. “America is finally able to utilize its plentiful domestic natural resources to help address high gas prices at the pump.   

“After decades of refusing to allow common sense resource extraction, the Democrats finally folded on the issues of offshore development and oil shale just five weeks before Election Day. Quite simply, Democrats feared opposing the will of the American people to utilize more domestic energy supplies. Despite the Democrats complete capitulation on this issue; they undoubtedly will once again attempt to restrict access to domestic energy sources after the political expediency of Election Day passes.  

“A vast majority of Americans now support offshore drilling and greater use of domestic energy resources.  Republicans have consistently proposed measures to address high gasoline prices by increasing our domestic production.  As often noted, America is not running out of oil and gas or running out of places to look for oil and gas.  America is running out of places where we are allowed to look for oil and gas.

“The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) holds at least 19 billion barrels of recoverable oil. These enormous reserves are equivalent to 35 years’ worth of oil imports from Saudi Arabia. In addition, up to 1.1 trillion barrels of oil are estimated to be recoverable from oil shale and at prices as low as $35 to $48 dollars per barrel, within the first 12 years of commercial scale production.  At current rates of consumption, 1.1 trillion barrels equals more than 145 years of domestic supply.”

 

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Inhofe Report Exposes Environmental Groups as "Massive Democratic Political Machines"

Inhofe Blasts Senate Democrats Attempt to Reinstate Oil Shale Moratorium

Inhofe Blasts Senate Democrats Attempt to Reinstate Oil Shale Moratorium


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today blasted the Democrats' attempt to reinstate the moratorium on oil shale development as included in a Democratic "stimulus" bill. The Motion to Proceed to S. 3604 failed.


"It's astonishing that the Democratic Majority would bring forward legislation that they call a "stimulus" bill with a provision that would reinstate a one-year delay in lifting the ban on oil shale development." Senator Inhofe said. "It should now be absolutely clear to the American public that the Democrats reversal on offshore drilling this week was nothing more than an election year ploy designed to mask their opposition to increasing American energy production. With skyrocketing energy costs we need to consider all sources of energy - from oil and natural gas exploration, to shale exploration in the West, to alternatives. We need it all.


"The potential energy development from the Rocky Mountain oil shales is truly massive. The Green River Formation located within Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah contains the equivalent of 6 trillion barrels of oil. Of this 6 trillion, the Rand Corporation estimates up to 1.1 trillion recoverable barrels. That equals more than 2000 years worth of imports from Saudi Arabia or 145 years of domestic supply at current rates of oil consumption. These numbers would nearly double assuming the Department of Energy's estimate of nearly 2 trillion potentially-recoverable barrels. The Rand corporation projects that within the first 12 years of commercial production, these barrels would be recoverable at prices as low as $35 to $48 per barrel of oil.


"At a time when the nation is struggling to reduce reliance on foreign oil and find more American energy, this is absolutely the wrong policy to pursue."


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Related Link:

Inhofe Urges Elimination of Ban on Oil Shale Exploration – September 26, 2008 

Offshore Drilling and Oil Shale Access a ‘Victory for the American People’ - Inhofe Says September 24, 2008

 

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Inhofe Remarks - Nuclear Renaissance - Challenges & Opportunities Associated with Spent Fuel Recycling

Sen. Inhofe’s Remarks 

Sens. Voinovich and Carper’s Roundtable

Nuclear Renaissance – Challenges & Opportunities Associated with Spent Fuel Recycling 

Thursday, Sept. 25, 9:30 – 11:00

419 Dirksen Senate Office Building  

I commend Senators Voinovich and Carper for organizing yet another thoughtful roundtable on nuclear energy and - in particular for tackling the tough issue of spent fuel. I have long been a supporter of recycling and believe it holds great potential. I regret that I can't stay for the entire discussion, but I need to be in another hearing this morning.

I'd like to associate myself with the remarks commending Sen. Domenici on his service in the Senate, and most particularly for his fervent advocacy for nuclear energy. I have learned much from him over the years and have enjoyed partnering with him to reform the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Pete, you will be sorely missed.

Very briefly, I'd like to make 2 points on recycling. First, even with recycling, we will still need a repository so I believe any recycling effort should complement repository development, not compete with it. Progress on the repository may be slow, but it is moving forward and the license application is under review. Recycling efforts should not divert needed resources from the Yucca program or we will jeopardize that progress.


Second, any decision to deploy recycling should be based on a thorough cost-benefit analysis and made in the context of developing a safer and more cost-effective repository. Deploying recycling will cost tens of billions of dollars in addition to the cost of building a repository.


* Recycling should reduce the waste volume and radioactivity, but by how much and does it improve the safety and capacity of Yucca Mountain?
* What other waste will be created in the process, how will we manage it, and what will it cost?


Before asking electricity ratepayers or taxpayers to pay for recycling, I feel we should have a clear understanding of whether it is an economic investment right now or whether it will be at some point in the future when we have robust numbers of new nuclear plants under construction.

I believe answering these questions will give us a firm policy basis for making a decision of this magnitude and for countering criticism from anti-nuclear opponents who will fight any spent fuel solution. 25 years ago, in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, Congress underestimated the challenges of solving this problem. That miscalculation is now costing taxpayers about $500 million dollars a year. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that any decision to reprocess builds on our existing progress, is given the soundest foundation possible, and the best chance to succeed that we can give it.

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Inhofe Opening Statement: Regulation of Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act

Opening Statement of Senator James Inhofe 

Senate Environment and Public Works

Regulation of Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act

 Tuesday, September 23, 2008 

Madame Chairman, I am hopeful that today’s hearing will focus less on political theatrics and more on the substantive matter before us today, which has very urgent and troubling implications for our already fragile economy. This matter is the very real possibility of regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.   

Rather than trying to uncover who knew what and when during the deliberative process at the EPA, this hearing should begin our substantive look into the Clean Air Act, and just exactly how it will work in relation to the regulation of greenhouse gases.  Despite my disagreement with the Supreme Court in the Massachusetts v. EPA case, I recognize that this Committee has a responsibility to evaluate the implications of that decision, which in my view we have failed to  focus on until now.  Therefore, I am grateful, Madame Chairman,  for your decision to have this hearing today, and hope you will commit to work with me through this issue and take a hard look at all of the potential impacts as the climate debate moves forward next year.  

As more and more analysis is done about the potential implications of regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, the more alarming the consequences become. While some may seek to dismiss these analyses as scare tactics or exaggeration, I only offer up the recent D.C. Circuit Court decision vacating the CAIR rule as a reminder of how strictly the Courts interpret the provisions of the Clean Air Act. So while some in the environmental community or the Agency may see an inherent flexibility in the Act to soften some of the prescriptive permitting requirements that could be triggered if greenhouse gases are regulated, I am not so certain they should rush to those early conclusions.  

My concern with the potential disastrous effects of this issue are not just mine alone. Several other Members, on both sides of the Capitol and on a bipartisan basis, have already expressed concern publicly with the Massachusetts case, and with the potential regulation of greenhouse gases under the Act. John Dingell, the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in a recent hearing even called the situation a “glorious mess” and that this has the “rich potential for causing a fine economic mess and a splendid manufacturing and industrial shutdown.”

We will also hear today from the United States Chamber of Commerce, who will voice their strong opposition over any proposed rules under the Act. They will discuss their new analysis that finds over one million mid-sized to large commercial-sector sources could become exposed to PSD permitting requirements, including 92,000 health care facilities and 100,000 schools and other educational facilities.  In addition, almost 200,000 industrial manufacturing sector sources emit enough CO2 per year to become exposed to PSD permitting requirements, as well as over 17,000 large agricultural sector sources. Keep in mind that as part of the PSD process, regulated sources are often forced to install Best Available Control Technologies, or BACT, which in the case of CO2 has not been determined.  This additional requirement would lead to even more bureaucratic delay and legal challenges.

In a time of record high energy prices, economic uncertainty, and dire financial news, and with Treasury Secretary Paulson testifying at this hour on the largest government bailout in history,  the only positive economic data I can gather under those scenarios is for the legal profession as they will have a feeding frenzy of new Rules to challenge. Madame Chairman, this is only one example of the consequences of potential regulation under the Clean Air Act.  There are also the State Implementation Plans, the New Source Review provisions, which can be applied in two different ways, and I could go on. It is my hope that this hearing will lead to broader understanding of the dire implications of regulating CO2 under the Clean Air Act, which it was never intended to do, and that as we move forward into next year, this Committee will exercise its jurisdiction to prevent any of these harmful and unnecessary regulatory impacts from happening.   

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Inhofe Takes Unusual Step of Objecting to EPW Hearing

Inhofe Takes Unusual Step of Objecting to EPW Hearing 

Statement by Marc Morano, Communications Director for Environment and Public Works Committee’s Ranking Member Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.):

 

 

“This afternoon Senator Inhofe took the unusual step of objecting to the EPW Committee’s hearing titled 'Bush Administration Environmental Record at Department of Interior and Environmental Protection Agency.’  Senator Inhofe has asked the Bush Administration to honor his objection and not appear at the hearing.  

“Senator Inhofe’s actions were in response to the Majority’s refusal to grant a single Minority requested hearing this entire 110th Congress, despite numerous requests. Specifically, Senator Inhofe requested twice in writing (May 5, 2008 and August 21, 2008) to a hearing to examine the ‘emerging questions surrounding ethanol’s effects on world food and livestock feed prices, its economic sustainability, and its transportation and infrastructure needs, its water usage, and numerous other environmental issues.’  

“While the Clean Air Subcommittee did hold a hearing on July 10th, its stated purpose was “the status of life-cycle analysis and advancements in next generation biofuels.” At that hearing, Senator Inhofe renewed his request for an oversight hearing examining the issues he raised in his May 5, 2008 letter.  

“As the former Chairman of the Committee he granted minority requests for hearings three separate times.  This is the first time Senator Inhofe has ever objected to an EPW hearing.”  

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Inhofe Urges Elimination of Ban on Oil Shale Exploration

Inhofe Urges Elimination of Ban on Oil Shale Exploration  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today urged the elimination of the moratorium on oil shale exploration which is included in the Democratic stimulus package.  

“Continuing the ban on oil shale development indicates Congressional Democrats are not serious about increasing American energy supply,” Senator Inhofe said. “Without Congressional action, a one-year delay in lifting the ban on oil shale exploration could end up lasting much longer, and, like the Outer Continental Shelf appropriations moratorium, continue year-after-year. This Congress has debated energy production for weeks, and an extension of this moratorium would do nothing to address increasing domestic energy supplies.”  

“This stimulus bill would extend the oil shale moratorium for another year despite the fact that the American people have demanded the moratorium be removed.  American’s strongly desire the ability to utilize their plentiful domestic natural resources to help address high gas prices at the pump.”  

“It should now be absolutely clear to the American public that the Democrats reversal on offshore drilling this week was nothing more than an election year ploy designed to mask their opposition to increasing American energy production. With skyrocketing energy costs we need to consider all sources of energy – from oil and natural gas exploration, to shale exploration in the West, to alternatives. We need it all.”  

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Related Link:  

Offshore Drilling and Oil Shale Access a ‘Victory for the American People’ - Inhofe Says – September 24, 2008

 

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