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Inhofe releases video ahead of hearing to highlight what he calls EPA's anti-fossil-fuels culture
June 6, 2012

Posted by Matt Dempsey

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Inhofe releases video ahead of hearing to highlight what he calls EPA's anti-fossil-fuels culture

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter

Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Link to Article

The Senate's top critic of U.S. EPA regulation has compiled a video montage of the agency's regional administrators making statements that, in his opinion, show them "longing to impose a 'Green Way of Life Act' on Americans" through regulation.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) released his video last night ahead of House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, at which former EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz was due to field questions about his now-famous comments comparing EPA enforcement of hydraulic fracturing rules to Roman Empire intimidation tactics -- until pulling out of the hearing last night (see related story).

Inhofe played a key role in stoking the "crucify" controversy, which lead to Armendariz's resignation in April.

In the video, Inhofe seeks to demonstrate that Armendariz's hostility to fossil fuel development was part of a larger culture at EPA. He points again to comments made by EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding at a Yale University forum in March, at which Spalding discussed the effect of EPA's proposed natural gas-based standard for power plant greenhouse gas emissions and the effect it might have on coal mining communities.

Spalding said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was forced to set the proposed standard in order "to do what the law and policy suggested."

"And it's painful," said Spalding of that decision. "It's painful every step of the way."

Inhofe first pointed to Spalding's comments as part of a 35-minute floor statement Monday night in which he discussed EPA's regulatory regime and his own efforts to stop it. He said Spalding's comments showed that EPA "consciously and deliberately made a choice to wage war on coal."

Inhofe has not called for Spalding's resignation.

Last night's video featured footage of several regional administrators, played over a background of emotive instrumental music and interspersed with clips from 2008 in which then-presidential candidate Barack Obama said that under his administration, building new coal power plants without greenhouse gas reduction capabilities would "bankrupt" a utility.

Jared Blumenfeld, the regional administrator with jurisdiction over California, is shown saying that EPA and the Energy Department had been tasked with coming up with "transition pathways away from a fossil fuel economy," in part as a response to climate change.

He also appears discussing DOE's decision to grant a loan guarantee to Solyndra, the solar firm that went bankrupt last year.

Judith Enck of EPA's Region 2 office in New York declares herself to be a politically incorrect Prius driver who thinks that individual choices are not enough to rein in emissions.

"Fundamentally, we need the large emitters -- which are power plants, manufacturing, the transportation sector -- to make a really substantial shift away from fossil fuels," she said.

Click here to view the video.



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