Kristina Baum (EPW) – 202.224.6176

Donelle Harder (EPW) – 202.224.4721

Inhofe Statement on Pope Francis’s Address to Congress

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released a statement today following Pope Francis’s joint address before Congress:

"As the Pope stated in his address, Congress has an important role to play in how the United States cares for our environment. When Congress and a White House administration work together, we can address environment policy in a way that improves the livelihood of Americans while also protecting and even bolstering future economic opportunity for our nation. I know this first-hand as an original sponsor of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Since the original Clean Air Act became law, Americans are breathing the cleanest air in several decades and we continue to reduce pollutants in our environment as a result of this policy. These environmental advancements have simultaneously taken place while our nation has increased its use of energy consumption by 47 percent, population has grown by 53 percent, and economic development has improved by 219 percent.

“Unfortunately, President Obama has taken a different approach during his time in office. He instead has worked for the past seven years to cut Congress out of environmental policy by way of regulatory overreach with his so-called Clean Power Plan. The president is even using these climate regulations to make promises to the international community that are unachievable and will have no measurable impact on his objective of changing global warming patterns. Instead, the president's climate policies will cost our economy $479billion, increase electricity prices across the nation by double digits, and rob Americans of well-paying jobs and future economic growth. Those who stand to lose the most are the poor, as well as minority populations, who spend the largest portion of their expendable income to heat their homes. As Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, highlighted before the EPW Committee this summer, the president’s climate policies will result in a cumulative job loss of 7 million for Blacks and nearly 12 million for Hispanics by 2035. The president’s climate agenda stands to create more poverty, not less.

“Congress does have an important role to play in our environment, and my committee has put forward bipartisan solutions, to include reforming the Toxic Substance Control Act, reauthorizing the Brownfields program, and sending EPA’s regulations back to the drawing board with suggested improvements from Congress. I hope the president will take heed to the Pope’s words, and he will consider the policies we are putting forward to care for our environment while also safeguarding America’s prosperity.”