Inhofe Statement on Administration Officials Participation in COP21 Deal
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released a statement on the pending climate deal being developed at the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) pursuant to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France.
“EPA and CEQ traveled 3,800 miles to present their roles in the implementation of the president’s Climate Action Plan and corresponding international commitment yet refused to travel two miles to testify with the State Department before elected representatives of the American people,” Inhofe said. “In refusing to testify before a joint subcommittee hearing on the international negotiations and the president’s Climate Action Plan, EPA asserted ‘the agency does not have a witness that can speak to the issues of the hearing.’ Following EPA and CEQ’s refusal to testify, I requested the agency provide a list of officials who had participated in previous negotiating meetings and who would be attending the COP 21 in Paris. These simple oversight requests went unanswered. It is hard to understand how EPA and CEQ have the expertise to explain their involvement with the president’s international climate agenda to the United Nations and broader international community when just two months ago, they lacked the ability to do so before Congress. I plan to invite administration officials, once again, to provide testimony before the Senate EPW committee so they can explain their actions to Congress and the American people.”
Tuesday, Dec. 8, GinaMcCarthy, administrator for EPA and Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator, answer questions during their presentation entitled, “EPA US Climate Change Actions: EPA’s Role in Delivering on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan” from the U.S. Pavilion at COP21.
Thursday, Dec. 10, Christy Goldfuss, CEQ managing director, kicks-off panel entitled, “US Climate Policy: Implementing the President’s Climate Action Plan” from the U.S. Pavilion at COP21.
Thursday, Dec. 10, Obama administration officials spoke on a panel entitled, “U.S. Climate Policy: Implementing the President Climate Action Plan” from the U.S. Pavilion at COP21.
On Oct. 13, EPA sent a letter to Inhofe saying a representative from EPA would not be attending the hearing.
On Oct. 15, Inhofe sent letters to the State Department, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), requesting participation in a full committee hearing on Oct. 20 to conduct oversight of the Obama administration’s ongoing international climate negotiations and to examine the role that domestic environmental policies play to the final agreement. However, EPA and CEQ declined to participate. SFRC Democrats objected to a joint hearing, which led to Inhofe’s decision to proceed as a full EPW committee hearing. Once this change was made, the State Department informed the committee’s majority office that it could no longer confirm the participation of Todd Stern, special envoy for Climate Change at the State Department, unless EPA or CEQ would also be in attendance as witnesses. EPA and CEQ, to date, have claimed to not have witnesses available who can testify to the subject matter.
On Oct. 16, Inhofe sent letters to EPA, White House CEQ, and the State Department requesting a list of respective staff who plan to attend COP21 and a list of staff who have attended international meetings in the past related to the UNFCCC.
On Dec. 9, Inhofe delivered a speech on the Senate floor reiterating that “a legally binding agreement must come before the Senate for consideration. There is no way around it.”
On Dec. 7, the Heartland Institute, joined by scientists and policy experts, held a conference during COP21 called the Day of Examining the Data in order to demonstrate the opposition to Obama’s climate plans as well as to expose the true cost of his agenda. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, participated in the counter conference via video. To view Inhofe’s remarks, click here and scroll to time stamp 4:32.34.
On Dec. 1, Inhofe unveiled a White Paper put together by Senate EPW Committee Majority staff to provide the first comprehensive account of the Senate’s legislative and oversight efforts during the 114th Congress to set the record straight on the Obama administration’s misguided climate agenda in the context of historical international agreements and negotiations leading up to the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) pursuant to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, 2015.
On Nov. 30, Inhofe had an op-ed published with CNN called, “Beware of Empty Climate Promises.”
On Nov. 19, Inhofe and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), introduced a bipartisan resolution expressing the sense of the Senate with regard to any agreement reached at the 21st session of the Conference of Parties pursuant to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held this December. The purpose of the resolution is to further inform the international community of the U.S. Senate’s respective role.
On Nov. 19, Inhofe and Barrasso and their colleagues sent a letter to the president encouraging U.S. negotiators to be forthcoming to foreign counterparts of Congress’s role over the Green Climate Fund and any binding agreement.
On Nov. 18, Hofstra University Professor of Law, Julian Ku, testified that the president could not legally bind the United States to make emission reduction targets through a sole executive agreement and that any attempt to suggest otherwise could result in “misleading foreign governments” or “violat[ing] the Constitution.” Oren Cass, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute highlighted how the UN negotiations ultimately are an attempt to redistribute developed countries cash in the form of “climate finance,” which the U.S. congress can “strongly resist.” Mr. Stephen Eule, vice president of Climate and Technology at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy, revealed that other countries’ INDCs are nothing more than business as usual since developing countries have a much greater interest in “pursing economic growth and poverty eradication than … reducing GHG emissions.”
On Nov. 17, the U.S. Senate voted to disapprove of President Obama’s signature legacy regulation on global warming in S.J.Res. 23 and S.J.Res. 24. S.J.Res. 23 was introduced by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and S.J.Res. 24 was introduced by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
On Nov. 12, Inhofe responded to Sec. John Kerry’s comments that COP21 “will not deliver a ‘treaty’ that legally requires countries to cut their carbon emissions.’