Kristina Baum (EPW) – 202.224.6176

Donelle Harder (EPW) – 202.224.4721

Inhofe Urges EPA to Provide Answers on Oversight, ESA Compliance 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging EPA to promptly respond to two of the EPW Committee’s overdue oversight requests.

In the letter, Inhofe wrote, “EPA has been unwilling to provide detailed information about the overall number of responsive documents that have not yet been provided and has refused to say when it will finish its document production.  Questions also remain about the adequacy of EPA’s search and its efforts to locate non-electronic copies of Agency records or responsive documents sent or received by EPA staff using personal email accounts."

“A separate letter, sent jointly with the House Committee on Natural Resources on June 15, 2015, sought answers to two questions and four categories of documents about EPA’s compliance with the Endangered Species Act in development of these rules,” Inhofe wrote. “Although EPA provided a cursory response to the committees’ questions on July 13, 2015, EPA’s response letter did not even address the outstanding document request.  In fact, EPW Committee staff was told on July 17, 2015, that EPA had not yet completed its search and it could not provide an estimate of the number of documents at issue or when it would complete its response.”

The letter concluded with, “EPA’s lack of timely and complete responses and the ongoing uncertainty over its document searches frustrate Congress’ ability to fulfill its constitutional duty to perform oversight of the Executive Branch to ensure its actions are executed in accordance with the laws as written by Congress.”

On June 15, Inhofe and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, sent a letter to EPA addressing the failure of EPA to consult with the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on the power plants rules’ impacts on endangered and threatened species.  To read the full letter sent, click here.

On April 17, Inhofe sent a letter to EPA requesting unredacted information to examine the influence of environmental advocacy groups, including but not limited to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and EPA’s internal procedures and use of contractors in developing the greenhouse gas rulemakings for power plants.  To read the full letter sent, click here.

To read a full text of the letter, click here.