Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works introduced two additional amendments to the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011. These amendments, introduced last night, accompany another Inhofe amendment, which will reduce the authorization level of the EDA bill from $500 million to $300 million.
"The Obama EPA is destroying jobs and harming our economy by cranking out red tape at an unprecedented rate," Senator Inhofe said. "At the same time, the Agency is trying to hide the cost of these rules from the American public. This must come to an end. As we move forward with EDA reauthorization, a bill focused on job growth, we should demand to know the effect of EPA's rules on businesses and working families.
"My amendment would set up a Committee to examine the cumulative cost of the EPA "train wreck"- it would provide transparency, which is clearly lacking in the EPA's rulemaking process. It would also ensure that policymakers and the American public have the information necessary to hold the Obama EPA accountable for its actions.
"I have also introduced an amendment that would protect jobs and economic development in Oklahoma by preventing the listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act. Instead of restricting the rights of private property owners and putting jobs at risk, I hope we can give voluntary public-private partnerships - especially the Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances - a chance to produce results. These programs achieve the right balance between environmental protection and economic growth."
More on the Amendments:
Inhofe Amendment #438: The Comprehensive Assessment on the Economy Act (CARE), which Senator Inhofe recently unveiled with Senator Johanns, was introduced as an amendment to the EDA bill. It requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine the total cost of several major rules it is preparing to issue, and evaluate their impact on employment, economic development, electric reliability, energy security, retail electricity rates and gasoline prices, and State and local governments.
Inhofe Amendment: #429: This amendment would ensure that the lesser prairie chicken is not listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It addresses the concerns of many Oklahomans that the federal government is harming economic development in favor of creating a habitat for the species, even though it is currently hunted in neighboring Kansas. In particular, the listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken would harm wind development in the state. In order to move power from wind-rich, remote locations to energy-intensive population centers, OG&E recently announced the construction of a high power line. But this project, and hundreds of millions of dollars of private sector investment in Oklahoma wind development, could be in peril if the Lesser Prairie Chicken is listed.
These amendments compliment two amendments that Senator Inhofe previously proposed: one would cut EDA's authorization levels from $500 million to $300 million, and the other, which was accepted during the EPW markup of the bill, would help to ensure that EDA is not involved in any duplicative federal programs.