Friday, September 18, 2009

Though Now Stalled, Cap-and-Trade is Alive and Well

By Senator Jim Inhofe

Link to Inhofe Clean Skies Op-Ed

Now that the debate on cap-and-trade has stalled indefinitely in the Senate, inquiring minds are wondering: what’s next?  While there’s no question the Democrats have declared a cease fire on cap-and-trade—many of them want nothing to do with the issue—their allies outside the Beltway are preparing a massive $20 million campaign to push legislation forward.

This effort should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who believes cap-and-trade is dead and buried—it is very much alive.  So Republicans remain ever vigilant, preparing to defeat any cap-and-trade energy tax that will drive up unemployment, slow our economic recovery, and make America less competitive in the global marketplace.

A key component of this pressure group campaign will be the so-called “endangerment” finding now under review at the White House.  This finding under the Clean Air Act will declare that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare, and thus will trigger a cascade of new regulations that will crush small businesses and raise electricity, food, and gasoline prices. 

Green groups and the Obama Administration are threatening Congress with this finding, arguing that the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, or any cap-and-trade bill, will take care of it.  They argue that cap-and-trade is more efficient than command-and-control regulation. But this is a smokescreen for the truth: cap-and-trade would simply substitute one bad policy for another, as Congress would be replacing one energy tax with another.  Republicans reject both, and both should be defeated.

Meanwhile, EPW Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) continues to seek votes for her climate legislation, the introduction of which has been delayed twice in the last two months.  This is no surprise, as the politics of climate legislation in the Senate are daunting.  Several members of the Democratic caucus have expressed outright opposition to cap-and-trade or hesitation about consideration of cap-and-trade this year.   The latter is due in large part to health care reform, which has, in the view of many, “poisoned the well” for cap-and-trade.  “It's a difficult schedule," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said last week, adding that many members are already “anxious” about health care reform.   "We have enough on our plate at the moment (with the fight over healthcare reform).  It's questionable to open another front,” Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said.   Sen. Kent Conrad, (D-ND) added, “Given everything that has happened and all the things there are to do, it is a little hard to see how there is sufficient time on the floor to do it.”

So in the coming weeks, expect Sen. Boxer and her supporters to cut any and all deals to secure votes.  Those deals will appear to be major concessions on such issues as nuclear power, coal, trade, and manufacturing.  But once one scratches the surface, those concessions will come to light as nothing more than fig leaves.  For instance, one can legitimately question the sincerity of Sen. Boxer’s commitment to a nuclear title.  That’s because in 2005 she voted against the McCain-Lieberman bill specifically because it included pro-nuclear language.  As she said in a floor statement at the time, “Nuclear power is not the solution to climate change, and it is not ‘clean.’ The nuclear industry has not solved its waste and safety problems. By subsidizing the creation of new nuclear plants, we are condoning the creation of more waste and turning a blind eye to the hazards associated with nuclear power.”   

As Sen. Boxer looks for votes, the Administration will press forward with its strategy for international climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.  The key focus of that strategy will be to convince a skeptical U.S. Senate that China can agree to emissions reductions on a scale and timetable comparable to Waxman-Markey, or similar cap-and-trade legislation.  But China simply won’t agree to climate restrictions that meet the Senate’s Byrd-Hagel test, which states that no treaty can get 67 votes for ratification if it causes significant harm to the U.S. economy or if developing countries are left out.  

President Obama will travel to China in November, and will likely lay the groundwork for some sort of bilateral agreement, in which China will agree to implement a climate regime—but it won’t require mandatory reductions and won’t make a dent in global greenhouse gas concentrations. 

Those following the cap-and-trade debate should expect a busy fall, with lots of activity in the Administration, Congress, and beyond the Beltway.  Republicans will argue that cap-and-trade legislation is a bad idea that the Senate should reject.  Green groups are repackaging cap-and-trade as “clean energy legislation.”   But the American people won’t be fooled, and they will call instead for the GOP energy policy, which reduces our dependence on foreign oil, creates jobs, and grows our economy.


Watch: Inhofe Welcomes News that Democrats Likely To Push Back Climate Bill To 2010

Click Here to Watch Inhofe Floor Speech


Speaking on the Senate Floor on Thursday, Senator Inhofe welcomed news that Democratic leadership is now publicly saying that consideration of the costly cap-and-trade bill may very well slip to next year. (Watch Inhofe Floor Statement Here) As the leading critic of cap-and-trade legislation in the Senate for nearly a decade, Senator Inhofe has long said Senate passage this year was nearly impossible. That said, Senator Inhofe also warned that the likes of Al Gore, Hollywood, and the United Nations would continue to push Democrats to take up the debate in the Senate. Inhofe vowed again this week that he would keep up the battle and continue to expose the tremendous cost of cap-and-trade legislation.



What Democrats Are Saying About a Cap-and-Trade Bill:


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Senate may not act on comprehensive energy and climate change legislation until next year, given the chamber's busy fall schedule. Speaking to reporters about the possibility of taking up the bill this fall, Reid said the Senate must first finish work on health care and regulatory reform."So, you know, we are going to have a busy, busy time the rest of this year," Reid said. "And, of course, nothing terminates at the end of this year. We still have next year to complete things if we have to." (E&E News 9/15/09)

Sen. Dick Durbin: “It's a difficult schedule" with many members already "anxious" about healthcare reform, Senator Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat, told Reuters when asked about prospects this year for a bill to cap emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Besides the need to pass the complex healthcare bill this year, which Durbin said was "first in the queue," he also noted the need to tackle legislation imposing stricter rules on the U.S. financial industry. Durbin said it was unclear whether the climate bill or financial industry reform would be a higher priority in 2009. (Reuters, 9/10/09)

Sen. Kent Conrad: Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), never a strong backer of cap-and-trade, was the most explicit in raising doubts about the Senate’s ability to take on such a controversial and complicated issue before the end of the year. “Given everything that has happened and all the things there are to do, it is a little hard to see how there is sufficient time on the floor to do it,” Conrad said. (Inside EPA, 9/11/09)


Sen. Byron Dorgan: "I think its increasingly difficult to have a climate change bill done before the end of the year," said Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), the chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee. (EE News, 09/16/2009)


Sen. Ben Nelson: But one moderate Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, told Reuters: "We have enough on our plate at the moment (with the fight over healthcare reform). It's questionable to open another front." Instead, Nelson said the energy bill could be passed as a stand-alone bill, calling it "far less controversial" and "necessary." (Reuters, 9/10/09)

Sen. Blanche Lincoln: Meanwhile, Senator Blanche Lincoln, who is taking over the chairmanship of the influential Senate Agriculture Committee, on Wednesday fretted climate change legislation would hurt farm profitability through higher energy costs. It would be "a heavy lift" to pass a climate change bill this year, she predicted. "In this economy, it is important to take it one step at a time," she said as she praised the pending energy bill. (Reuters, 9/10/09)

Sen. Claire McCaskill:“I’m not sure that [Reid] has any choice,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). “He knows that climate change is more of the same, so it’s unrealistic that we could squeeze both those before now and the end of the year.”  (Politico, 9/17/09)

Sen. John Kerry: "This is a tough lift, in every respect," said Kerry, who has held 40 one-on-one meetings with 25 fellow Democrats over the past couple of months and plans to meet with half a dozen Republicans in the next week or so. "My hope is that common sense and the facts will prevail, but that doesn't always happen around here." "It's more important to get started than being rigid about your starting point," he said. (Washington Post, 9/13/09)


“Vital Signs Weak” – “Senate Cools” – “Potomac Fog”



Inhofe EPW Press Round-up

WSJ: Is Harry Reid bailing on climate legislation? (9/15/09) - Harry Reid - the Senate Majority Leader who’s facing a potentially difficult reelection campaign and known for announcing legislative timetables that he can’t deliver on - told reporters Tuesday that the Senate might wait until next year to vote on legislation that would require companies to pay for the right to emit greenhouse gases. “We still have next year to complete things if we have to,” said Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, when asked if the Senate might wait till 2010 to vote on such legislation. He noted that the Senate has a busy plate during the remaining months, with lawmakers increasingly preoccupied by legislation overhauling the nation’s health care system.

Politico: Vital signs weak for climate bill (9/17/09) - The climate bill is not dead, but its pulse is rapidly weakening on Capitol Hill. Harry Reid says he doesn’t have time for it. The White House has been largely silent on the legislation. And one Treasury analysis — disputed by critics — that says a cap-and-trade system could cost $200 billion landed with a thud on Wednesday. The Senate majority leader seems ready to punt the climate debate into 2010, with the Senate already bogged down in health care and hoping to push through a major Wall Street reform bill also this fall.  “We are going to have a busy, busy time the rest of this year,” said Reid. “And, of course, nothing terminates at the end of this year. We still have next year to complete things if we have to.” The Democratic Caucus is split over the bill, with coal-, oil- and manufacturing-state Democrats raising concerns that a cap-and-trade system would disproportionately spike electricity bills for consumers and business in their regions. Adding to their difficulties, Senate Democratic aides have interpreted the White House’s relative silence on the issue, particularly after President Barack Obama’s recent speech on financial regulatory reform, as a sign the administration does not want to expend much political capital on a global warming bill this year. Against these odds, Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) plan to introduce a climate bill at the end of the month, with a markup in Boxer’s committee in October.

Roll Call: Senate Cool to Addressing Climate Change This Year (9/17/09) - Climate change legislation is rapidly moving down the Senate priority list as Democrats wrestle with health care reform and grimace at the thought of taking up two politically trying issues this year. “It’s all health care all the time,” Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said this week.  And Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), pointing to the chamber’s packed schedule, has floated the possibility of kicking energy reform to next year. “We have to do this health care matter. ... The president’s talked in the last few days about how important regulatory reform is. So, you know, we are going to have a busy, busy time the rest of this year. And of course, nothing terminates the end of this year. We still have next year to complete things that we have to,” Reid told reporters Tuesday. The House narrowly passed its version of climate change legislation in June, a controversial cap-and-trade plan that would require steady reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and would set a national standard for renewable electricity. But that plan lacks sufficient support in the Senate where 60 votes are needed to avert a filibuster.  Troubling for the issue is not just the Senate’s already-full calendar, but also the number of committees with jurisdiction over it. Six Senate panels share responsibility for climate change, and committee chairmen have continued to wrestle over who among them should play the most influential role. Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.)

Climate Wire- Climate Bill Drifts Into a Potomac Fog (09/17/09) - A day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) hinted that climate legislation might be postponed until 2010, some analysts wondered whether that actually could mean 2011. Or perhaps that it wouldn't be considered in the Senate at all. With congressional midterm elections looming next year, they say the timetable is limited for politicians to act on a major bill before partisan rancor dominates Capitol Hill. That is raising speculation that lawmakers and the Obama administration may go for a "Plan B" next year that involves passage of a general energy bill without its most complex climate elements. "The most likely scenario is that we get a more climate-friendly version of the 2005 and 2007 energy bills," said Barry Rabe, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. "It would be a half-loaf approach without cap and trade." And the further Congress delays into election season, the more likely it is that it may leave emissions limits entirely to U.S. EPA, which is already unleashing climate regulations in the absence of legislation."If EPA regulation gets too far down the road, then Congress will abdicate the space on policy on ... greenhouse gas regulations," said Jim Connaughton, the former lead White House environmental adviser to President George W. Bush. Connaughton now works at Baltimore-based Constellation Energy Inc. "Congress will most often just defer to the regulatory agency and duck the tough political choices."

E& E News: 2010? Reid's comments add to uncertainty of cap-and-trade vote timing (09/16/2009) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) added another layer of uncertainty to the prospects for passing a comprehensive climate bill this year by opening the door to punting the legislation into 2010, only to have a top aide walk back from his boss' comment a short while later. Jim Manley, a Reid spokesman, insisted last night that "no decisions have been made" on floor timing for a comprehensive climate and energy bill. "We still intend to deal with health care, [Wall Street regulatory] reform and cap and trade this year," Manley added in an e-mail. But a few hours earlier, Reid had suggested that the global warming legislation could be tossed to the sidelines because of a packed legislative agenda that includes equally bruising battles over health care and Wall Street reform. "So, you know, we are going to have a busy, busy time the rest of this year," Reid said. "And, of course, nothing terminates at the end of this year. We still have next year to complete things if we have to." The majority leader's suggestion of a further delay on the climate bill quickly rippled through Washington as the Obama administration prepares to host a small subset of international climate negotiations later this week at the State Department.

Climate Wire: Obama Administration Pushes Climate Talks Into 2010 (9/17/09) - Top U.S. energy and climate leaders yesterday began to openly plan for international global warming talks to trickle into 2010. Experts have predicted for months that a major U.N. summit in Copenhagen this December -- billed as the place 192 nations would complete a new emissions pact -- would not deliver by deadline. With health care reform now sucking all the political oxygen out of the U.S. Senate, and with countries still bickering over fundamental issues, completing a new treaty within three months is looking more and more improbable. Key leaders are starting to say it out loud, and are putting the best face on what some are calling "Plan B." "The mission is to get the most ambitious, most far-reaching accord that we can in Copenhagen, and to the extent that there's some things that need to be completed after that, then that will happen," U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern told reporters yesterday. Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, traveling in Vienna, said Copenhagen is not a "now or never" chance to scale back global greenhouse gas emissions. He said the summit must make significant strides in advancing efforts to fight climate change. But, he added, "let's not make that one particular time the be-all, end-all, and say if it doesn't happen that we're doomed."

AFP: White House plays down talk of climate delay to 2010 (9/18/09) - WASHINGTON - The White House on Wednesday played down the possible impact of putting off major U.S. climate change legislation to 2010, vowing to press for progress on the issue ahead of global talks in December. Asked whether a delay would amount to a setback for President Barack Obama’s priorities on the issue, spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters: “No, I think we can continue to make progress.” “We’ve got to make progress and the international community’s got to make progress getting China and India and developing nations, and evolving world economies like Brazil, on board,” he said. Gibbs spoke one day after Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid raised the prospects of putting off action on the legislation until 2010, only to have his chief spokesman say Democrats still sought action this year.“We are going to have a busy, busy time the rest of this year,” Reid said Tuesday. “And, of course, nothing terminates at the end of this year. We still have next year to complete things if we have to.”



NYT Editorial: Some Bad Climate News and Some Good (9/15/09) - Senators Barbara Boxer and John Kerry have delayed the introduction of their long-awaited climate change bill until the end of this month — one more sign that Congress will be hard pressed to get a bill to President Obama’s desk before the international summit on global warming in Copenhagen in December. The chances of action this year, never all that good, are even slimmer now that the White House and the Senate leadership have pretty much agreed to keep controversial issues — and a bill limiting greenhouse gas emissions certainly falls into that category — on the back burner until the health care debate is resolved.


US News and World Report: Senate Democrats Debate Pushing for Climate Bill (9/16/09) - Given the level of anxiety among some Senate Democrats, a fight does seem inevitable. Moderate and conservative Senate Democrats worry that the bill the House passed this summer, which has a cap-and-trade provision, may hurt jobs in some regions of the country and some industries in particular, like farming. The Kerry-Boxer effort is expected to have such a provision as well, but centrist Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, who chairs the Agriculture Committee, said last week, "It is not my preference to move on cap-and-trade this year." She's not the only one. In fact, Majority Leader Harry Reid this week suggested that a cap-and-trade bill may have to wait until 2010, since the Senate is busy with healthcare reform and, in coming months, will try to overhaul the financial regulatory system.


Time: Another Health-Care Casualty: The Cap-and-Trade Bill (9/16/09) - As it stands, the chances of a new global deal being achieved in Copenhagen — one that would succeed the expiring Kyoto Protocol and include both the U.S. and major developing nations like China — are already looking dim. There are still major differences between the developed and developing nations over how the responsibility for cutting carbon should be divided — and how much the rich world should devote to poor countries that will need to adapt to climate change. "It's going to be a very difficult situation at Copenhagen," says Annie Petsonk, the international counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund.



Congress Daily - Reid Hints Climate Change Bill Might Slip To Next Year (09/16/09) - Senate Majority Leader Reid Tuesday added more fuel to the buzz that has steadily grown on and off Capitol Hill in recent weeks that the Senate will not have enough time to finish work on climate change legislation this year. Reid suggested that the chamber's focus on health care and possibly the Obama administration's plan to overhaul regulation of the financial sector might push climate legislation into next year. Responding to a question from a reporter over whether he supports the idea of separately moving an energy bill from one that creates a program to cap and trade greenhouse gas emissions, Reid said: "We've focused on what the House has done, and that is, do it all in one package. But ... that's a bridge that's still a long ways away."He then reminded reporters that the Senate has to first finish health care -- President Obama's top domestic policy priority -- and also hinted that financial regulatory reform might come next."We have to do this healthcare matter. We have now the president [talking] in the last few days about how important regulatory reform is," Reid said. "So, you know, we are going to have a busy, busy time the rest of this year. And of course, nothing terminates the end of this year. We still have next year to complete things that we have to."

Obama Breaks Middle Class Tax Pledge

Senator Inhofe responded to an economic analysis by the Treasury Department stating that President Obama’s cap-and-trade proposal violates his pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class:

“During the campaign, President Obama promised tax relief for the middle class. That was then, this is now: the President’s own economic team said his cap-and-trade proposal would cost each family $1,761 per year.  To keep his promise with the middle class, the President should have changed course.  Instead, he eagerly supported cap-and-trade in the House.  And he continues to support it now.  And if President Obama gets his way, middle class families, indeed all families, will pay more for gasoline, food, electricity, and much more.

“This revelation also raises fundamental issues of trust and transparency.  Recently, I requested a comprehensive economic analysis of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, but the Obama Administration said no.  Instead, the Obama Administration told the public cap-and-trade would cost ‘less than a postage stamp a day’.  Based on reams of evidence to the contrary, we knew that was false.  Thanks to documents the Administration was forced to release, we also know the President didn’t believe it. 

“This Administration is hiding the ball on cap-and-trade, refusing to be open and transparent with the public about its true costs.  Coming from a President who promised the ‘most transparent White House in history’, one would expect a full and open debate about an issue that poses serious economic harm to American jobs and family budgets.  Instead, the public is greeted with sloganeering about postage stamps and government manufactured jobs, all the while concealing evidence that cap-and-trade will cost the American economy between $100 and $200 billion a year.  Here we have a pledge broken, and an honest debate denied.”   

Read More:

Cap And Trade Redux: $1,761 Annually Per Family? Or Not?

Green Fog about the Treasury Trove [Chris Horner]

Inhofe Welcomes Oklahoma Chamber to DC

 Sec. LaHood Joins Senator Inhofe in Speaking To Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce

Senator Inhofe was pleased to welcome back the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce to Washington D.C. this week to discuss a number of wide-ranging issues important to Oklahoma businesses, including critical transportation issues. At the invitation of Senator Inhofe, Secretary of Transportation Roy LaHood addressed the group and took questions.











Inhofe Warns EPA Action Could Have Severe Economic Impacts on Oklahoma

On Wednesday, Senator Inhofe warned that the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed revision to the ozone standard could have severe economic impacts on Oklahoma. If EPA follows through on its decision, at least nine counties in Oklahoma--Canadian, Cherokee, Comanche, Creek, Kay, Mayes, Oklahoma, Ottawa and Tulsa--will face severe restrictions on economic development.

"I am proud that over the past few years we have made tremendous progress in cleaning up our air in Oklahoma,” Senator Inhofe said. “In fact, today there is not a single county in Oklahoma is in violation of ozone standards. And we will continue to make progress in the years ahead. But if EPA follows through on its action, Oklahoma communities will face severe restrictions on their ability to grow and promote economic development.  Today, as our nation faces difficult economic times, the last thing Washington needs to do is impose more regulations that will drive up costs on families while destroying jobs." 

In The News...Lawmakers Urge EPA to Keep Water-quality Program (Tulsa World)

Tulsa World

Lawmakers Urge EPA to Keep Water-quality Program

By Jim Myers


September 18, 2009


Link to Article

The Oklahoma congressional delegation expressed concern Thursday that a federal agency is moving away from a successful voluntary program tied to Tulsa's water quality.

In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, the delegation said Oklahoma's $9 million investment in the program since 2003 has resulted in a 66 percent reduction in phosphorus levels in Beaty Creek.

That creek is a tributary to the Eucha-Spavinaw watershed, the primary water supply for Tulsa.

A 69 percent reduction in phosphorus and nitrogen also has been realized in the Peacheater Creek subwatershed of the scenic Illinois River, according to the letter.

"Through voluntary, cooperative action that addresses water quality problems while respecting private property rights, several additional streams have been removed from the 303(d) list for bacteria, sediment and pesticide pollution," the letter states.

"We are concerned, however, that EPA has neglected funding for section 319 (the polluted runoff program in the Clean Waters Act) and may be considering altering current regulations to mandate certain nonpoint source pollution reduction efforts.

"We believe such efforts would fail to take into account the already successful reduction of nonpoint source pollution in Oklahoma."

In addition, the lawmakers stated, a change in the EPA's approach would severely impede future efforts to reduce pollution in the state by disenfranchising many who have worked hard to achieve improvements to water quality.

They also cited current economic woes, adding that the federal government should be ensuring that states can continue to use innovative and flexible ways to address complex environmental issues.

"By imposing one-size-fits-all regulations on states, the EPA will sacrifice effectiveness while increasing costs for state governments and taxpayers during a time when they can least afford them," the lawmakers stated.

The letter was signed by Republican Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn and Reps. John Sullivan, Frank Lucas, Tom Cole and Mary Fallin and Democratic Rep. Dan Boren.

In The News...Inhofe Says Revised EPA Smog Standards Would Hurt Oklahoma (Tulsa World)

Tulsa World

Inhofe Says Revised EPA Smog Standards Would Hurt Oklahoma

By Jim Myers

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Link to Article 

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe warned Wednesday that Tulsa County and at least eight other Oklahoma counties will face severe restrictions on economic development if the Obama administration follows through with revisions on smog standards.


"I am proud that over the past few years we have made tremendous progress in cleaning up our air in Oklahoma," Inhofe said, adding that not a single county in the state is now in violation of ozone standards. "But if EPA follows through on its action, Oklahoma communities will face severe restrictions on their ability to grow and promote economic development."


Inhofe was reacting to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson's announcement that her agency will reconsider 2008 smog standards.


"This is one of the most important protection measures we can take to safeguard our health and our environment," Jackson said, pointing to the link between smog, or ground level ozone, and asthma and other respiratory illnesses.


She said ensuring that smog standards are set at acceptable levels could cut health-care costs and make cities healthier, safer places to work and play.


Under the timetable laid out by Jackson, the EPA will propose revisions by December and issue a final decision by August.


Nancy Graham, air-quality program manager for the Indian Nations Council of Governments, said the EPA's announcement was expected.


"We are concerned with health and agree that needs to be a primary issue here," she said.


Graham said earlier this month that cooler weather could keep Tulsa County from violating current air standards.


"We wouldn't have been on the March listing anyway," she said.


Graham conceded that the EPA's announcement that it was getting back into the issue means that a tighter standard is likely.


If that happens, she said, Tulsa County needs to look at the improvements it has made in the past and build on them.


Inhofe said Canadian, Cherokee, Comanche, Creek, Kay, Mayes, Oklahoma and Ottawa counties also could face severe economic development limits.


"Today, as our nation faces difficult economic times, the last thing Washington needs to do is impose more regulations that will drive up costs on families while destroying jobs," said Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.