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Opening Statement of Senator James Inhofe


Business Meeting on the Nomination of Regina McCarthy to be Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, of the Environmental Protection Agency

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Madam Chairman, I have only a brief statement for today.  As I stated at the hearing, the Office of Air and Radiation at the Environmental Protection Agency issues regulations that protect the air we breathe.  Those regulations also significantly impact the American economy.  For these reasons, the job of Assistant Administrator for Air entails serious responsibilities.


On Friday of last week, the Administration set in motion a ticking time bomb with its release of an endangerment finding for carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases. They are presenting policymakers with a false choice: Use an outdated, ill equipped, and economically disastrous option under the Clean Air Act, or pick another bad option—cap-and-trade—which commits us to requirements for which affordable and reliable technology does not exist.  This is not a choice I want for my constituents or the country.


I appreciate the nominee’s responsiveness to my questions and I look forward to continuing to work with her.  However, while I have no reservations thus far about Ms. McCarthy’s qualifications, these issues are too big and the impacts are too great to have her nomination move forward without better explanations of how the Agency plans to protect my constituents from the burdensome regulations that will follow an endangerment finding under the Clean Air Act.  In this time of recession, I believe the American people deserve better answers as to how this could play out.


I am hopeful that as we move forward to the floor, the nominee will be able to address my concerns, and the concerns of other Republicans on this Committee.


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