Inhofe Statement on NERA’s New Analysis on the Administration’s Carbon Mandates

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement regarding the National Economic Research Associates’ (NERA) new analysis of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Power Plan for existing sources:

“NERA's analysis of the EPA’s Power Plan highlights that the president's carbon mandate is all pain for no gain. It comes as no surprise that the EPA’s Power Plan is the most expensive rule the agency has ever written for power plants, yet this mandate will have no measurable impact on global warming. According to NERA's latest analysis, all states subjected to the EPA’s Power Plan will see electricity price increases, with 40 of those states slated to experience double digit increases. This potentially illegal carbon mandate will cost our nation's economy upwards of $292 billion, and furthermore, will result in American households losing roughly $79 billion in their disposable incomes due to increased energy costs. Since the last study on the EPA’s Power Plan, the numbers that remain the same are how this mandate fails to prevent global warming. Even under the final rule, the EPA’s Power Plan will still only reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations by 0.2 percent by 2100 and reduce sea level rise by the thickness of two sheets of paper , which will be rendered completely pointless by continued emissions growth in China and India. Americans do not deserve to foot the bill of this costly and burdensome mandate meant to solidify the president's legacy on climate change. Congress and the American people have consistently rejected efforts to federally mandate carbon controls, and I fully expect this attempt at backdoor cap-and-trade by the Obama administration to see the same fate."


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 and its potential impacts.  Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, testified.

On Mar. 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 Mar. 23, the Senate EPW Committee held a field 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 Jun. 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 families. 

On May 13, Senator Capito introduced the ARENA Act as the principal legislative vehicle to roll back the President’s carbon mandates, including the EPA’s Power Plan.  Inhofe was an original cosponsor.

On Jul. 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.

On Aug. 3, Inhofe released a statement in response to President Obama’s finalization of the EPA’s Power Plan.

On Aug. 4, the Senate EPW Committee released a Majority Staff Oversight Report titled, Obama’s Carbon Mandate: An Account of Collusion, Cutting Corners, and Costing Americans Billions. The report is the product of an ongoing investigation by committee Republicans on EPA’s development of Obama’s climate rules.  The full report can be read here.

On Aug. 5, the Senate EPW Committee successfully marked up the ARENA Act, despite the Democrats walking out of the markup and further illustrating their lack of commitment to addressing the flaws in the president’s carbon mandates.

On Sept. 29, the Senate EPW Committee held a hearing, Economy-wide Implications of President Obama’s Air Agenda, to hear from Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation.

On Oct. 27, Inhofe and 48 other Senators filed Congressional Review Act (CRA) Resolutions of Disapproval against the carbon emission standards for new and existing sources.

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.