Senator Jim Inhofe
Environment and Public Works Committee
Hearing on Global Climate Change
Thursday July 10, 1997

Thank you Mr. Chairman for calling this hearing today. The debate on global climate change is an important one that deserves considerable attention.

As a cosponsor of the Byrd/Hagel Sense of the Senate Resolution, my position has been clear. I do not support a binding committee for emissions reductions that does not also bind developing nations. In addition, I have serious concerns and questions regarding the underlying science and the economic considerations.

I appreciate Senator Chafee bringing in this panel of experts today to help educate the Committee. I am concerned that the Administration has been unwilling and uncooperative in providing the necessary data to Congress regarding the underlying models they are using in their international negotiations. I know Congressman Bliley has been requesting this information for months and his requests have gone unanswered. Therefore we will have to rely upon ourselves to obtain the necessary information.

I know the President has announced that he will convene a White House Conference on Climate Change later this year, but because of the Administration's past record of withholding information and silencing critics, I will be looking at the composition of this panel carefully. I hope the President will ensure that all sides of the debate are treated equally, if the purpose of the panel is to truly uncover the facts.

As the President also pointed out in his remarks, this debate is very similar to the debate on the proposed new standards for ozone and particulate matter. He believes that the new standards are the first step towards addressing the climate change issue. I am concerned that some in the Administration and the EPA are using the ends to justify the means for both climate change and the NAAQS debate. If the climate change science is as incomplete and uncertain as the particulate matter science, then the Administration is in trouble on this issue.

Because of this, it is my intention to hold Oversight hearings in my Clean Air Subcommittee on the use of the Clean Air Act under this Treaty prior to any Senate vote on Treaty ratification. Again I would like to thank Senator Chafee for calling this hearing today, and I look forward to working with him on this issue in the months to come.