Contact: Matt Dempsey 202-224-9797

WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today blasted legislation introduced by Senator Carper called the “Clean Air Planning Act.” For the past year, Chairman Inhofe and Senator Voinovich have awaited a credible counter-offer from Senator Carper and other Committee Democrats to multiple proposals made by EPW Republicans during the Clear Skies negotiations last year.

“This is a step backward, not forward," Inhofe said. "Opponents continue to show they have no interest in a compromise by further tightening emissions cuts, eliminating needed reforms, and shortening the timelines for compliance. It’s a shame they wasted another year and the extensive efforts of EPA's modelers in analyzing various proposals.

“A year after Senator Voinovich and I offered successive proposals moving to the center, Senator Carper today introduced legislation moving even farther to the left than his previous clean air bill. This is no way to negotiate. With this bill, Senator Carper continues to choose to place politics above our nation’s public health and energy supply.

“The Clean Air Planning Act is a coal killer that will cause massive fuel switching from coal to an already overburdened natural gas supply. It amazes me that Senator Carper would introduce legislation that would significantly raise the cost of energy in the same week Senators are racing to find ways to reduce high fuel prices. Passage of this bill will cause a significant average price jump in natural gas, as well as price spikes. Undoubtedly, if enacted, this bill would place an even greater strain on the pocketbooks of American families as they struggle to pay their natural gas heating bills in the winter months.

“Senator Carper’s latest proposal goes further on regulating carbon dioxide than his previous version, yet the Senate has clearly spoken against mandatory carbon caps – most recently, in a bipartisan 30-68 vote last summer against McCain-Lieberman This shows that today’s version of the Carper bill is not a serious attempt at compromise.

“Senator Voinovich and I continue to wait for a credible counteroffer by Senate Democrats so that we can provide a clean air victory for the American people.”