Kristina Baum – 202.224.6176

Donelle Harder – 202.224.4721

Inhofe: EPA’s Final Carbon Mandate a Bad Deal for Americans 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement today in response to President Obama’s finalization of the Clean Power Plan as announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 

“The Environmental Protection Agency has managed to take a bad deal and make it worse. The Obama administration has no concern for costs, no concept of reality and no respect for the rule of law. President Obama, and his EPA know that Americans do not support his costly carbon mandates, as most prominently on display when the U.S. Senate expressly rejected such an economically disastrous idea by failing to pass cap-and-trade legislation in 2009.

“EPA's final rule will force Americans to replace dependable, affordable energy with high-cost, unreliable alternatives, and generations of energy consumers will be left footing the bill.  The so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP) primarily relies on a federally mandated shift towards wind and solar which makes up less than five percent of our electricity grid and has taken our nation decades to achieve. Yet the CPP will demand Americans reduce its fossil fuel dependency until renewables are 28 percent of electricity production by 2030. This is unachievable without great economic pain, a burden President Obama thinks the American people should bear for the sake of his legacy. 

“Despite the president’s rhetoric, the so-called Clean Power Plan will be most harmful to low-income and minority communities. Our seniors will be forced to choose between medical care and meals while paying for a multi-billion dollar rule that has no measurable impact on global warming. The final CPP makes clear that this administration is not concerned with economic upheaval or the longstanding legal consequences that threaten the fabric of our Constitution so long as the president's reckless political agenda is advanced and legacy achieved.  

“Under a new Republican majority, the Senate is ready to push back on these destructive regulations. My committee will begin by marking up S.1324, the Affordable Reliable Electricity Now Act sponsored by Clean Air Subcommittee Chairwoman Sen. Shelley Moore-Capito (R-W.Va.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) later this week so that it can be ready for full Senate action this fall,” Inhofe announced.  “I am also working with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on two Congressional Review Act Resolutions of Disapproval to overturn both the new and existing source rules."


Senate EPW Committee in the 114th Congress has held the following hearings on the Clean Power Plan:

On Feb. 11, the Senate EPW Committee held a hearing, “Oversight Hearing: Examining EPA’s Proposed Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rules from New, Modified, and Existing Power Plants,” to examine the proposed rules, its potential impacts and obtain a general status update.  Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, testified.

On March 11, the Senate EPW Committee held a hearing, “Examining State Perspectives of the EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide emissions rule for existing power plants,” to hear from state regulators responsible for compliance with the existing source proposal.

On March 23, the Senate EPW Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety held a hearing in Beckley, West Virginia, “Hearing to Examine Impacts of EPA’s Carbon Regulations in Coal-dependent West Virginia.”

On May 5, the Senate EPW Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety held a hearing, “Legal Implications of the Clean Power Plan,” to examine the legal issues surrounding EPA’s carbon regulations.

On June 23, the Senate EPW Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety held a legislative hearing on the ARENA Act (S.1324) and on the impacts of EPA’s proposed carbon regulations on energy costs for American businesses, rural communities and family. 

On July 8, the Senate EPW Committee held a hearing, “Road to Paris: Examining the President’s International Climate Agenda and Implications for Domestic Environmental Policy,” to examine the president’s Climate Action Plan with a particular focus on his international goals in the context of the ongoing international climate negotiations.

The American people and Congress have spoken out against the federal government regulating carbon emissions through the following votes: 

  • July 25, 1997, the Senate passed the Byrd-Hagel resolution unanimously with a  vote of 95-0 state that it was not the sense of the Senate that the United States should be a signatory to the Kyoto protocol.
  • Oct. 30, 2003, the Senate defeated the Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act, an effort to cap carbon emissions at the 2000 level, by a vote of 43 to 55.
  • June 22, 2005, the Senate once again defeated the Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act, another attempt to impose mandatory caps on carbon, by a vote of 38-46.
  • June 6, 2008, the Senate defeated the Warner-Lieberman Climate Security Act, to cap carbon emissions at 63 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, by a vote of 48-36.
  • In 2009, the Waxman-Markey Clean Energy and Security Act, which would have established a variant of an emissions trading plan, was never brought up for a vote under a Democrat-controlled Congress.