Kristina Baum – 202.224.6176

Donelle Harder – 202.224.1282 


WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement after today’s full committee hearing on the president’s proposed fiscal year 2016 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“We learned today from EPA Adm. Gina McCarthy three important and alarming trends exposed by the Obama Administration’s proposed EPA budget for fiscal year 2016. First, as pointed out by both Republicans and Democrats, the Obama Administration is cutting EPA’s core responsibilities and instead is redirecting its resources for implementing costly climate regulations.  These include cuts to the Clean Water Act state revolving loan funds, cuts to diesel emissions reduction grants, and cuts to homeland security.

"The second trend is the lack of environmental justification for EPA’s proposals. The Obama Administration cannot demonstrate how its climate change regulations would impact global warming, yet the costs to our nation’s economy are certain.  When it comes to the Clean Power Plan, Acting Assistant Adm. Janet McCabe called it a ‘pollution control’ rule in a June 2014 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.  Then in July 2014, McCarthy told the Senate EPW Committee that it wasn’t a pollution control rule, but it was about ‘investment in renewable and clean energy.’  Today we received clarification on just what the Obama Administration’s goal is with the climate rule.  Since the Clean Power Plan may reduce the rise of global temperatures by only .018 Celsius by 2100, we learned from McCarthy that the real benefit of the rule is to send a ‘signal’ to other countries that America is serious about climate change.  This so-called “signal” carries a hefty price tag of $479 billion in compliance costs and a double-digit increase in electricity costs over the next decade that will significantly impact every American.   Furthermore, the Obama Administration’s costly climate agenda is based on science that McCarthy could not defend or explain in today’s hearing.  Both Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) asked her about trends that call into question the hysteria over human-caused global warming.  Not only was the head of the EPA unfamiliar with IPCC models referenced by Sen. Sessions, but she also claimed a century’s worth of data is enough to establish a trend line in the face of a millennia’s worth of natural climate cycles. 

"This trend continues with EPA’s proposed ozone regulations.  When questioned on this rule, McCarthy said that it will not cost anything because regulations that are already on the books will get us to the ‘same place’ as the newly proposed rule. If this is the case, then why is EPA proposing a rule that is estimated to reduce U.S. GDP by $270 billion per year and carry a compliance price tag of $2.2 trillion from 2017 to 2040?

“The third trend is the lack of legal support for EPA’s proposals.   The Obama Administration is clearly aware that its climate regulations are on shaky legal grounds since the budget request includes $3.5 million for 20 new attorneys specialized in the Clean Air Act.  EPA justifies these new attorneys by saying in its Justification of Appropriations Estimates:  ‘each EPA action is expected to be challenged in court, which will require skilled and experienced attorneys specialized in the Clean Air Act to devote significant resources to defense of these actions.’  Furthermore, when questioned about the Waters of the U.S. rule, McCarthy told Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) that she has no legal analysis to support the expanded federal jurisdiction that EPA has proposed. 

"I’m disappointed in the arrogance by the Obama Administration to advance an agenda that is all pain and no gain for American citizens.”