WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today dismissed the attack by the liberal special interest group League of Conservation Voters (LCV) as "Washington politics at its worst." As the Ranking Member and former chairman of the EPW Committee, Senator Inhofe has a proven record of balancing environmental protection with economic realities. Earlier this year, Senator Inhofe received the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's ‘Legislator of the Year Award' for his integral role in passing the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act, which was approved by Congress and signed into law in 2006. The Partners Program has been a successful voluntary partnership program that helps private landowners restore fish and wildlife habitats on their own lands. Further, Senator Inhofe has worked to successfully focus federal attention and action toward the Tar Creek Superfund site. The Tar Creek Superfund site is one of the most severe and largest superfund sites in the country.
"The LCV should be included on the list of the 12 most liberal partisan special-interest groups that make up the Democratic Party," Senator Inhofe said. "Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I have never received high marks from this Washington, D.C liberal special-interest group that measures the greenness of politicians by how many federal laws they impose on the American people. That's because I believe our incredible environmental progress over the years is not because of Washington's morass of federal laws and regulations telling Americans what they can not do. Instead, I believe our achievements are directly attributable to the ingenuity and strong sense of personal accountability that is characteristic of the American people."
"The LCV will be notably silent about my record here in Oklahoma where I have worked to successfully focus federal attention and action toward the Tar Creek Superfund site. The Tar Creek Superfund site is one of the most severe and largest superfund sites in the country. It is a part of the former Tri-State Mining District which included parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. The lead and zinc mining have left a legacy of human health and environmental deterioration. Since becoming the Chairman of the EPW Committee in 2003, I made a priority of ensuring the federal agencies responsible for remediating the Tar Creek Superfund Site were all working together. Since that time, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Department of Interior (DOI), US Army Corps of Engineers, White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and US Federal Highway Administration (FHA) have established a unified and cooperative federal approach for the first time in the history of the Tar Creek site.
"As a former mayor, I have always believed that when you involve individuals in efforts to protect the environment, the outcome is a far more effective and efficient solution than could be produced solely by the federal government. A great example is the Partners for Wildlife program, which was authorized under my leadership of the EPW Committee. This program is far more successful at protecting animals than the Endangered Species Act, because it works with property owners instead of against them. I am proud to have supported policies that have continued the American tradition of encouraging individuals to find innovative ways to protect the environment. Laws and regulations should be implemented in ways that respect property rights and encourage economic growth while giving the environment ample protections.
"Furthermore, as the former chairman of the EPW Committee, I twice introduced legislation to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and -- for the first time -- mercury from power plants by 70 percent by 2016 through expanding the successful Acid Rain Trading Program. In fact, the Clear Skies bill was the most aggressive presidential initiative in history to reduce power plant pollution and provide cleaner air across the country. Unfortunately, Democrats and their special-interest allies chose to obstruct this important bill denying the American people a major environmental victory."