Inhofe Statement on President Obama’s Speech at International Climate Negotiations
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 President Obama delivered a speech to the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) pursuant to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France:
“The president’s speech at COP21 is another example of misplaced priorities and empty promises. Neither the American people nor the U.S. Congress support his international climate efforts which are premised on economically devastating domestic policies that will raise the price of electricity, undermine our businesses’ global competiveness and ship U.S. jobs overseas to places like India and China with less stringent environmental standards. The president should spend more time listening to the American people instead of sending ‘signals’ to the international community meant to save his climate legacy at the expense of hardworking Americans. As a result, I plan to unveil a detailed white paper on the Senate’s legislative and oversight efforts during this Congress to set the record straight on the administration’s misguided climate agenda and promises leading up to COP21.”
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 July 8, Mr. David Bookbinder, former Sierra Club chief climate counsel, testified before the U.S. Senate EPW Committee, that the president’s goal would fall dramatically short of meeting the president’s target to cut emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Even the minority witness from the World Resources Institute admitted that additional actions would have to take place, which former EPA Air Administrator, Jeff Holmstead suggested would likely come through “a greater regulatory burden on rural America” in the form of agriculture and other industrial regulations.
On July 8, Inhofe led ten Senators in a letter to President Obama requesting a detailed response for how the U.S. will plan to meet a pledge of 26-28 percent emissions reduction by 2025, as represented by the INDC submitted to the UNFCCC. Senators are still awaiting the president’s response.
On Feb. 2, Inhofe released a statement on the president’s budget proposal, in which Inhofe said, “I will not support any special funds, including the $500 million for the Green Climate Fund, to further [the president’s] climate agenda that is eroding states’ rights and making it unnecessarily difficult to do business in America.”
On Nov. 14, 2014, Inhofe released a statement in response to President Obama’s pledge of $3 billion to the U.N. Green Climate Fund.