WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today commented on President-elect Barack Obama’s intention to nominate Lisa Jackson for the position of Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), physicist Steven Chu as the Energy Secretary, and former EPA administrator Carol Browner as the newly created "climate czar" inside the White House.
“The next President faces the challenge of balancing the environment with the reality of our current economic downturn,” Senator Inhofe said. “As falling gas prices have finally provided a welcome relief to families in tough economic times, my concern is Team Obama may be now ready and willing to restrict realistic energy supplies and drive energy prices higher, harming already struggling Americans.”
Inhofe comments on Steven Chu: “Steven Chu has made troubling comments. Chu has unabashedly called coal -- which generates over 50% of our nation’s electricity -- his ‘worst nightmare.’Equally worrisome is Chu’s call for raising America’s gas taxes to European levels as noted in today’s Wall Street Journal.Rather than threaten the nation’s economic security, the Department of Energy must promote policies to power this machine we call America.
Inhofe comments on Lisa Jackson:“I look forward to getting to know Lisa Jackson better during the nomination process. Over the past two years Ms. Jackson has testified before the committee on issues ranging from chemical security to mercury legislation. At a time when American families are facing a troubled economy, the position of EPA Administrator is particularly important as we look to continue environmental progress while developing our economy. I look forward to discussing with Ms. Jackson her views on how we can best accomplish these goals.” (The position of EPA Administrator is a confirmed position through the Environment and Public Works Committee.)
Inhofe comments on Carol Browner:"I look forward to learning more about the position of an ‘energy czar' in the new administration. Certainly Carol Browner's record as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under former President Clinton is well known. She is a proud liberal who has long-advocated an environmentalist agenda that would drive up energy costs on families and put thousands of Americans out of jobs. At a time when the economy is already suffering, it will be interesting to see how President-elect Obama will reconcile what seems to be conflicting agendas in the White House."