Inhofe Statement Calling Out the Obama Administration’s Obstruction to Senate Oversight

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement today after an Obama administration official claimed Republicans were not engaged on a climate agreement in Paris at the United Nations Framework on Climate Change.

"The entire Obama administration has been defiant in providing any testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee related to ongoing climate negotiations," Inhofe said. "Senate Democrats and the Obama administration have communicated they are more interested in playing political games to block Republicans' ability to provide necessary and appropriate oversight of international climate negotiations that will significantly impact hardworking American taxpayers. Conducting oversight on our government is a constitutional responsibility and a core component of protecting American interests. It is unfortunate that scheduling conflicts combined with minority staff obstruction and this administration’s disregard for congressional oversight resulted in low attendance at yesterday’s hearing. I would reiterate that Todd Stern, Christy Goldfuss and the EPA have standing invitations to testify before a panel of very engaged and concerned committee members at the Environment and Public Works Committee."

EPA and CEQ, to date, have claimed to not have witnesses available who can testify on the subject matter.  In the invitation letters sent Thursday to the agencies, Inhofe highlights instances where the president has ordered both EPA and CEQ to take action as part of the president’s international commitment to reduce the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent. Inhofe also requests in the letters that both agencies provide a list of names for all agency staff that plan to attend the COP21 in Paris and those who have attended previous international meetings related to the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The invite letter sent to CEQ, can be read here.

The invite letter sent to EPA, can be read here.

The invite letter sent to the State Department, can be read here.

The letter predating the invitations, from EPA to Inhofe can be read here.