Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
David Lungren David_Lungren@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-5642
Opening Statement of James M. Inhofe
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
Full Committee Business Meeting on
S. 1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act
November 4, 2009
Madam Chairman, I want to be very clear about what the Republicans want: we want a markup of this bill. And we have a pathway to get there, if only we had your cooperation.
That's why I'm here today. Madam Chairman, this is in your hands now. I have the letter Sen. Voinovich wrote to Administrator Jackson yesterday. This letter outlines exactly what we're looking for. It outlines the agreement Sen. Voinovich has with EPA.
EPA can start today to complete this analysis. But Madam Chairman, the way we see it, you are standing in the way. So I'm asking you this morning to work with us; let EPA do its analysis, so we can get to a markup. It's really that simple.
Madam Chairman, choosing the other course would be unwise. Choosing to set aside the committee's longstanding rules would jeopardize our ability to work together on other issues.
Again, I'm asking you not to violate the committee rules. You and I have a lot of work to do: the highway bill, the WRDA bill, and many others. We can't render the EPW Committee irrelevant.
Madam Chairman, as you will recall, back in 2003, the minority did not participate in the nomination hearing of Gov. Mike Leavitt. The minority complained that Gov. Leavitt had not answered questions for the record to their satisfaction. So they boycotted the hearing.
We all honored the Rules of this Committee and worked with the minority until we could accommodate their request. Despite its differences of opinion on both sides, that is how this Committee has operated in the past.
Then there's Clear Skies. Despite our differences on the legislation, at no time did the majority ignore the Committee rules and overrule the objections of the minority. In fact, the markup was delayed three times to accommodate the requests of Democrats seeking more time.
The entire legislative history of the Clear Skies Act spanned two Congresses over two years. I note two letters, first from Senators Carper and Jeffords sent to EPA requesting new and balanced analysis of clean air legislation, and a second sent nearly two years later signed by Senators Baucus, Carper, Chafee and then Senator Obama, insisting on more-up-to-date information before the Committee moved to markup.
Madam Chairman, these examples clearly show that when we controlled the committee, we honored the rules and accommodated the requests of the minority. We only hope that you would do the same for us.
Timeline of Clear Skies Process:
4-8-03 Full Committee hearing on Clear Skies Act of 2003, s. 485
5-8-03- subcommittee hearing on CSA
6-5-03 subcommittee hearing on CSA
11-5-03 Carper and Jeffords send letter to EPA, unsatisfied with review of Clear Skies Act, and demanding a new fair and balanced analysis of clean air legislation.
1-26-05- Subcommittee hearing on Multi-emissions legislation
2-2-05 Full committee legislative hearing on CSA s.131
2-16-05 Business meeting, postponed vote on Clear Skies Act
3-1-05 Letter from Baucus, Carper, Chafee, and Obama to Senator Inhofe insisting on more up-to-date information to negotiate a bipartisan compromise. Believe they can work on passing it into law by the end of 2005.
3-9-05 Markup, 9-9 vote on Clear Skies
We want to have the analysis and then we want to have a markup.