Friday, May 16, 2008

New Inhofe White Paper, Web Page, Detail Harmful Impacts of Lieberman-Warner Bill

May 15, 2008

Link to White Paper
Link to Lieberman-Warner Climate Bill Exposed  

With just two weeks remaining before debate begins on the America's Climate Security Act – S.2191 (Lieberman-Warner), Senator Inhofe released a new white paper by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee minority detailing the severe economic impacts of the Lieberman-Warner bill.  In addition, Senator Inhofe also announced a new web page on the minority portion of the EPW Committee website dedicated to providing an online resource center that will serve as a central hub for all information exposing the flaws of the Lieberman-Warner bill. The website can be viewed at

“On June 2, 2008, Senate Democrats have vowed to bring forward global warming cap-and-trade legislation before the United States Senate that, if passed, would drastically increase the already skyrocketing cost of energy at the pump and in our homes as well as cost millions of American jobs – all for no environmental gain,” Senator Inhofe said. “Yet despite the enormous financial burden this bill would impose on American families and American workers, the Senate has yet to fully examine and debate this bill.  

“To help facilitate the debate and provide information to the American people about the severe economic ramifications of this bill, I am releasing a white paper today that incorporates all of the most recent government and private group sector economic analyses of the bill. I am also announcing the launch of a new webpage on the minority portion of the EPW Committee website that will provide an online resource center that will serve as a central hub for all information exposing the flaws of the Lieberman-Warner bill.

“I am confident that when my Senate colleagues examine the facts about the enormous economic burdens this bill will impose on the American people, they too will oppose it. It seems unlikely that as American families face harsh economic times any Senator would dare stand on the Senate Floor three weeks from now and vote in favor of significantly increasing the price of gas at the pump and legislation that would cost millions of American jobs.”    

Key Excerpts from Senate White Paper: The Economics of America’s Climate Security Act of 2007:

-“Lieberman-Warner, if enacted, would likely devastate national and local economies in addition to putting a severe strain on the American family.  The bill would reduce the nation’s Gross Domestic Product by 2.3% by only 2015 as modeled by CRA International.  EPA finds that in 2030, GDP would be reduced by $983 billion and lowered even further by as much as $2.8 trillion in 2050…”

- “Under this legislation, America stands to lose millions of jobs.  Greenspan forecasts such a problem announcing that ‘cap-and-trade systems or carbon taxes are likely to be popular only until real people lose real jobs as their consequence.’  Within only seven years of enactment, up to 1.2 million net jobs will be lost. Many of these will be going offshore, where restrictions on emissions are nonexistent, to countries such as China.  Worse, by 2020 up to 3.4 million net jobs may be lost. Thousands more workers in Northeast Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan could become jobless in an area already subjected to heavy layoffs.  The Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that manufacturing output would drop by as much as 9.5% by 2030…”

-“Added on top of nationwide job losses, families will be hurt further at home with heating and electricity bills.  EPA modeling of Lieberman-Warner shows that electric prices will rise 44% by 2030 over baseline predictions for that time period…”

-“Kevin Book, an energy research analyst for FBR Capital Market Corporation testified to the Environment and Public Works Committee that not only will consumers be hurt, but the poorest of those will be hurt the worst.  Book stated in reference to S.2191 that ‘any effort to trigger conservation or environmental stewardship, even if price hikes are mediated through larger enterprises before they reach consumers, will affect the poorest Americans first…’”

-“EPA suggests that gasoline prices will rise $.53 per gallon on top of the baseline rise in gasoline prices. Additionally, EIA found that gasoline prices could rise anywhere from 41 cents to over a dollar by 2030…”

-“The legislation bypasses the appropriations process and commits revenues from the auctioning of allowances to various different programs potentially predetermining winners and losers in the marketplace.  In fact, many in the energy industry support the bill because the costs, according to the CBO, are passed on almost entirely to energy consumers, while the benefits, in the form of free allowances, accrue largely to energy companies and their shareholders, as well as a wide variety of politically favored special interests….”

Democrats Oppose Energy Legislation that Would Bring Down Energy Prices, Increase American Jobs

May 13, 2008


Senator Inhofe voiced disappointment with Senate Democrats on Tuesday for their failure to vote in favor of common-sense legislation that would bring down the price of energy and increase American jobs. Senate Democrats defeated the McConnell amendment 4720 to S. 2284, the Flood Insurance bill, down party lines by a vote of 42-56. Senator Inhofe, a co-sponsor of the amendment, was unable to vote on the bill today because he is touring the recent tornado damage in Picher, Oklahoma, with Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, FEMA Director David Paulison, U.S. Representative Dan Boren (D-Okla.) and Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry.    

“Today’s vote on energy legislation represents a stark contrast between Republicans and Democrats,” Senator Inhofe said. “Rather than raise taxes, block production, increase regulations, and call for investigations, the Republicans offered common-sense legislation that works to bring down the price of gas at the pump and the cost of energy in our homes. The Republican approach brings down prices by increasing access to domestic supplies, expanding the nation’s refinery capacity, and promoting market-based alternatives for our energy future. Importantly, the bill includes key provisions from my Gas Petroleum Refiner Improvement & Community Empowerment Act of 2007 (Gas PRICE Act), legislation that is designed to improve the permitting process for the expansion of existing and construction of new refineries. Unfortunately, no matter how high energy costs soar, too many Democrats and liberal special interest allies continue to block any meaningful measures to help alleviate the pain of high energy costs on American families.  

“There should be no surprise that Congress is back again looking for ways to address skyrocketing energy costs. Just four months ago I voted against a Democrat energy bill specifically because I believed it failed Oklahoma and the nation by doing nothing to address rising energy costs. Absent from their ‘energy’ bill were domestic energy resources –  such as oil, natural gas, nuclear and clean coal technologies – that are essential to securing an American energy supply that is stable, diverse, and affordable. Today Republicans offered an amendment that would increase domestic energy supplies and once again Democrats voted no.”  

What Senator Inhofe Believes Congress Should Do Now to Bring Down Skyrocketing Energy Costs:    

Increasing Domestic Refining Capacity  

Any legislation to bring down the price of gas at the pump must address domestic refining capacity. Legislation Senator Inhofe introduced last year, the Gas PRICE Act, – now included in the Domestic Energy Production Act of 2008 – is designed to improve the permitting process for the expansion of existing and construction of new refineries. The bill establishes a 360-day deadline for the approval or disapproval of consolidated permit applications for new refineries and a 120-day deadline for permits to expand an existing refinery. Its enactment will put an end to the outsourcing of U.S. refining capacity and U.S. jobs. Senator Inhofe originally introduced the bill in 2005 after conducting a series of EPW Committee hearings detailing how environmental regulations impact energy security. (See Gas PRICE Act Fact Sheet)  

Increasing Domestic Energy Exploration  

Increasing domestic energy exploration and production is essential. Currently, oil and gas exploration and production is prohibited on 85 percent of America’s offshore waters.  Canada, on the other hand, allows offshore drilling in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Great Lakes.  Additionally, Cuba is looking to expand drilling which could occur within 45 miles of parts of Florida and with technology that is much less environmentally sound than that used by American companies.  If President Clinton hadn’t vetoed legislation allowing environmentally sensitive exploration on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) 10 years ago, today we would have 1 million additional barrels of oil a day coming from ANWR, which would mean lower gas prices for consumers and more energy security. The Domestic Energy Production Act of 2008 allows for environmentally sensible drilling in ANWR.  It also allows individual States to decide if drilling should be permitted in their offshore waters.  Its enactment would allow American companies such as Oklahoma-based Devon and Conoco Phillips to increase our domestic supplies, make the nation more energy secure, and keep American jobs and dollars at home.  

Ethanol Mandate  

Senator Inhofe urged the President and Congress to take swift and meaningful action to help mitigate the damaging impact of our nation’s irresponsible biofuels mandate. Several Senators on both sides of the aisle have now spoken out on the need to find ways to address this problem. The five-fold increase in the biofuels mandates was yet another failure of last year’s Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Congress must have the courage to address this issue and address it now.  

Section 526 Repeal  

Senator Inhofe authored legislation to repeal Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which prohibits federal agencies from contracting to procure nonconventional, or alternative, fuels that emit higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions than ‘conventional petroleum sources.’ Senator Inhofe worked to include language in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 recognizing that unconventional fuels such as oil shale and tar sands developed in the U.S. and Canada are strategically important and necessary to develop to reduce the growing dependence of the U.S. on foreign oil. Despite the potential enormity of the provision’s consequences, no public hearings, discourse, or examination occurred before its inclusion. The scope of fuels that could be prohibited is left wide-open to interpretation, including fuels such as Canadian oil sands, E85 ethanol, and coal- and natural gas-to-liquids fuel, which has powered B-52H bomber aircraft at Tinker Air Force Base. Senator Inhofe is particularly concerned that Section 526 could limit the diversity and supply of fuel for our nation’s Air Force and other military branches. Our military could be forced to obtain a greater percentage of petroleum from unstable regions of the world, endangering our ability to quickly and economically obtain much-needed fuel to conduct operations vital to the defense of our nation. At a time when our troops are involved in two large-scale foreign conflicts, our military must have the flexibility to secure and develop alternative sources of fuel.  

Inhofe Taking Action to Bring Down Energy Prices:  

-On April 29, 2008, Senator Inhofe delivered a Senate Floor speech calling for “dramatic” action to address global food difficulties caused in part by current biofuel mandates. Specifically, Senator Inhofe called on Congress to revisit the recently enacted biofuel mandate, which can only be described as the most expansive biofuel mandate in our nation’s history. The mandates were part of last year’s Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Congress must have the courage to address this issue and address it now. Second, Senator Inhofe said that the EPA has the congressionally-given authority to waive all or portions of these food-to-fuel mandates as part of its rule-making process. The EPA must thoroughly review all options to alleviate the food and fuel disruption of the 2007 Energy Bill biofuel mandates. Senator Inhofe explained,  “Now when you have Lester Brown, Miles O’Brien, Dan Rather, Time Magazine, the New York Times, the United Nations, and James Inhofe all in agreement on changing an environmental policy, you can rest assured the policy is horribly misguided. All of these publications and individuals now realize the pure folly of the Federal government’s biofuels mandates.”  

In the floor speech, Senator Inhofe noted Oklahoma’s role in developing ethanol that does not rely on corn. Senator Inhofe noted: “Fortunately, all ethanol is not created equal. The idea that we can grow energy rich crops all over the country – not just in the Midwest – is something worth considering, and that’s why I support research into cellulosic biomass ethanol. I am particularly pleased by the efforts taking place in Oklahoma. This week, the Oklahoman reported in an April 28, 2008 article:  “As experts turn against corn ethanol, Oklahoma is continuing to elbow for a spot in the so-called second generation of the biofuels movement — a generation that won't use food for fuel. In recent months, turning corn into fuel has met criticism on two fronts: It's been blamed as a factor in sky-high food prices that have led to riots in Asia, Africa and Haiti; and it's been cast as an environmental villain, since studies say corn ethanol, on the whole, creates more greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. But Oklahoma's biofuels industry is going down a different path. Since last year, the state has been investing tax money in switchgrass — a potential biofuel that's no good for food and is praised for its environmental benefits.”  

-On May 1, 2008, Sen. Inhofe joined with Senate Republicans to introduce common sense legislation to address the skyrocketing costs of energy prices on Oklahoman and American families.   

-On May 2, 2008, Senator Inhofe joined two dozen Senators in sending a letter to Steve Johnson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asking the EPA to exercise its waiver authority regarding the biofuel mandate. The letter states: “Congress gave the EPA authority to waive all or portions of these mandates, as well as rule-making authority to structure the mandates for the benefit of all Americans. We believe the EPA should begin the process of examining alternatives to ease severe economic and emerging environmental consequences that are developing in America as a result of the mandate…American families are feeling the financial strain of these food-to-fuel mandates in the grocery aisle and are growing more concerned about the emerging environmental concerns of growing corn-based ethanol. It is essential for the EPA to respond quickly to the consequences of these mandates. Congress made the mandates in the EISA different from existing mandates to provide flexibility and to encourage innovation in advanced and cellulosic fuels. We believe today’s circumstances merit the use of this flexibility.”  

-On May 7, 2008, Senator Inhofe went on the Michael Reagan Show to discuss his efforts to bring down prices at the pump, in our homes and in our grocery stores. Listen to the interview by clicking here.  

-On May 8, 2008, Senator Inhofe delivered remarks on the Senate Floor in support for the Domestic Energy Production Act of 2008. Senator Inhofe talked about the need to increase refining capacity as well as expand domestic exploration.

Inhofe Says Listing of Polar Bear Based on Politics, Not Science

May 15, 2008


Senator Inhofe also expressed disappointment this week with the U.S. Department of Interior's final decision to list the polar bear as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.


“Unfortunately, the decision to list the polar bear as ‘threatened’ appears to be based more on politics than science,” Senator Inhofe said. “With the number of polar bears substantially up over the past forty years, the decision announced today appears to be based entirely on unproven computer models. The decision, therefore, is simply a case of reality versus unproven computer models, the methodology of which has been challenged by many scientists and forecasting experts. If the models are invalid, then the decision based on them is not justified. It’s disappointing that Secretary Kempthorne failed to stand up to liberal special interest groups who advocated this listing.


“Lost in the debate is the fact that polar bear numbers have dramatically increased over the past forty years – a fact even liberal environmental activists are forced to concede. According to Canadian scientists, 11 of the 13 bear populations are stable, with some increasing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now estimates that there are currently 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears. These numbers are substantially up from lows estimates in the range of 5,000-10,000 in the 1950s and 1960s. Credit should be given to protection already provided the polar bear by way of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the several international conservation treaties including the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears and the U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Conservation and Management Act of 2006, as well as conservation, education, and outreach agreement with native peoples.


“Today’s decision will have far reaching consequences. Liberal special interests have employed hundreds of lawyers to try and convert current environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act into climate laws. Yet the ESA is simply not equipped to regulate economy-wide greenhouse gases, nor does the Fish and Wildlife Service have the expertise to be a pollution control agency.  The regulatory tools of the ESA function best when at-risk species are faced with local, tangible threats.  Greenhouse gas emissions are not local. The implications of today’s decision, therefore, will undoubtedly lead to a drastic increase in litigation and eager lawyers ready to use this listing to do exactly what they have intended to do all along – shut down energy production.”


Read Related Information about the Polar Bear


Analyses Show Lieberman-Warner Depends on Significant Nuclear Energy Increases

May 12, 2008

The expansion of nuclear energy will be a key debate if the America's Climate Security Act – S.2191 (Lieberman-Warner) cap-and-trade bill comes to the Senate Floor. As economic analyses show, significant carbon reductions are contingent on the construction of extensive numbers of new nuclear plants.  

FACT: Economic analyses show Lieberman-Warner would require massive development of nuclear energy, up to 268 new plants by 2030, according to the Energy Information Agency’s (EIA) most recent analysis: that’s two and a half times the number of plants we have operating today - an increase so massive and unrealistic as to be fictional.  

In addition to EIA, the chart below shows necessary projections as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and the Clean Air Task Force (CATF):


  Click Here to View Chart


EIA’s analysis further showed that merely limiting the construction of new nuclear plants dramatically increased allowance costs and electricity costs, while decreasing reductions in carbon emissions. This clearly indicates that nuclear energy is the key to reducing carbon emissions and reducing the costs of any such effort.  Proponents of climate change legislation can’t continue to reject the world’s largest source of carbon-free energy.  However, any large-scale development of nuclear energy will face several challenges including regulatory predictability and waste management, but perhaps the most significant challenge will be the scale of the financing needed to accommodate such a large number of projects.  

Click Here To View Chart

The Electric Power Research Institute’s projection of 64 new plants by 2030, which is considered an extremely optimistic goal by industry experts, would require the industry to find financing of approximately $384 billion.  Companies looking to build just one or two plants may need financing equal to half of their total market capitalization.  CEO’s will not gamble the health of their companies if the financial risks are too high or if political support is shaky.  One of the ways the federal government can address this situation is by helping to create a stable financing platform upon which executives can base their decisions.  Loan guarantees is one such tool.

If proponents of climate change legislation are serious about reducing carbon emissions, it’s time to stop dodging the issue and embrace nuclear energy.  Robust construction of emissions-free nuclear plants requires robust support from the Congress now. 



Inhofe Statement: EPW Committee Hearing on Mercury Legislation

Tuesday, May 13, 2008  

Good morning.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing.  The purpose of this hearing is to discuss legislation to address mercury air emissions and instituting a ban on mercury exports.  This is the first time the EPW full committee has focused on mercury reduction legislation since the Democrats gained the majority in the Senate.  This is an issue that is very important to the state of Oklahoma and the other Senators on this committee. Twice, I have introduced legislation to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury from power plants.  In fact, the Clear Skies bill was the most aggressive presidential initiative in history to reduce power plant pollution and provide cleaner air for Americans. Unfortunately, Democrats chose to obstruct this important bill and we are left today with the status quo. I believe the need to reduce mercury levels is an issue that we all can agree on.  How we go about reducing these levels is where the debate occurs. 

Numerous industries that used to emit high levels of mercury, such as the municipal waste incinerators, have been controlled. The power sector industry is merely the latest industry to be regulated and it is the subject of the first bill under consideration, S. 2643.  If the Courts ultimately find that EPA can’t pursue a flexible cap-and-trade program for mercury, then the Clean Air Act has a process under Section 112 and those rules are appropriate and adequate for protection of health and the environment.  I further note that the MACT process is not “technology forcing” but addresses the best existing achievable technology.  Using the findings contained in S. 2643 to legally bind or back up the 90% MACT standard instead of the complex administrative process contained in the Clean Air Act is not the right approach.   

The Export Ban bills may be well-intentioned but they are flawed.  A piecemeal approach, as taken in both bills, is not the way to address this issue. This is the wrong approach to take and will have disastrous and unintended consequences. Most importantly, it will cost the taxpayers millions and quite possibly increase mercury levels.   The recent European Union export ban, if coupled with a potential United States ban, would lead to a massive void in the mercury market.  Instead of available stocks of mercury being drawn down and recycled in the U.S. to meet global demand, the ban could incentivize an increase in international primary mining.  Ultimately, by enacting this legislation, we could be increasing the amount of mercury released into the environment and an overall increase in production and use.  

To further illustrate my point, I want to share with you an example of an unintended impact that Congress is encouraging.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 million Energy Star-qualified, Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, or CFLs, were sold in 2007. That is nearly double the number sold in 2006 and represents almost 20% of the U.S. light bulb market.  The Democrat Energy Bill of 2007 mandates energy efficiency standards for lighting.  These new standards will only further increase the demand for CFLs.  CFLs are disposed of in municipal waste landfills or incinerators as household waste, which is perfectly legal because the waste law does not apply to household hazardous waste.  These light bulbs use less energy and they last about 5 to 7 years longer than the average light bulb.  So, in another two years, large numbers of CFLs will be thrown in landfills and contaminate our environment.  The Democrat Energy Bill legislated an efficiency standard while unintentionally creating a mercury pollution problem.

Mr. Chairman, we all agree that reducing pollution levels in this country is important and that more can and should be done. I am proud that the authors of today’s legislation are thinking globally.  However, I believe we owe it to the American taxpayer to also be legislating locally.

Thank you. 


In Case You Missed It...Environmentalists' Wild Predictions

Environmentalists' Wild Predictions


By Walter E. Williams

May 07, 2008  


Weblink to Walter Williams Column

Now that another Earth Day has come and gone, let's look at some environmentalist predictions that they would prefer we forget.  

At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, "The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind." C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization said, "The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed."

In 1968, Professor Paul Ehrlich, Vice President Gore's hero and mentor, predicted there would be a major food shortage in the U.S. and "in the 1970s ... hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." Ehrlich forecasted that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980 and 1989, and by 1999 the U.S. population would have declined to 22.6 million. Ehrlich's predictions about England were gloomier: "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000."  

In 1972, a report was written for the Club of Rome warning the world would run out of gold by 1981, mercury and silver by 1985, tin by 1987 and petroleum, copper, lead and natural gas by 1992. Gordon Taylor, in his 1970 book "The Doomsday Book," said Americans were using 50 percent of the world's resources and "by 2000 they [Americans] will, if permitted, be using all of them." In 1975, the Environmental Fund took out full-page ads warning, "The World as we know it will likely be ruined by the year 2000."  

Harvard University biologist George Wald in 1970 warned, "... civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." That was the same year that Sen. Gaylord Nelson warned, in Look Magazine, that by 1995 "... somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct."  

It's not just latter-day doomsayers who have been wrong; doomsayers have always been wrong. In 1885, the U.S. Geological Survey announced there was "little or no chance" of oil being discovered in California, and a few years later they said the same about Kansas and Texas. In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior said American oil supplies would last only another 13 years. In 1949, the Secretary of the Interior said the end of U.S. oil supplies was in sight. Having learned nothing from its earlier erroneous claims, in 1974 the U.S. Geological Survey advised us that the U.S. had only a 10-year supply of natural gas. The fact of the matter, according to the American Gas Association, there's a 1,000 to 2,500 year supply.  

Here are my questions: In 1970, when environmentalists were making predictions of manmade global cooling and the threat of an ice age and millions of Americans starving to death, what kind of government policy should we have undertaken to prevent such a calamity? When Ehrlich predicted that England would not exist in the year 2000, what steps should the British Parliament have taken in 1970 to prevent such a dire outcome? In 1939, when the U.S. Department of the Interior warned that we only had oil supplies for another 13 years, what actions should President Roosevelt have taken? Finally, what makes us think that environmental alarmism is any more correct now that they have switched their tune to manmade global warming?  

Here are a few facts: Over 95 percent of the greenhouse effect is the result of water vapor in Earth's atmosphere. Without the greenhouse effect, Earth's average temperature would be zero degrees Fahrenheit. Most climate change is a result of the orbital eccentricities of Earth and variations in the sun's output. On top of that, natural wetlands produce more greenhouse gas contributions annually than all human sources combined.