Senate Delivers Inhofe 81st Birthday Present

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, received a great birthday present from the U.S. Senate today in a vote of 52 to 46 on S.J.Res. 24, and a vote of 52 to 46 on S.J. Res. 23, to disapprove of President Obama’s signature legacy regulation on global warming. S.J.Res. 23 was introduced by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and S.J.Res. 24 was introduced by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The present also commemorated Inhofe’s 21st anniversary of being sworn into the U.S. Senate.

“It brings me great joy for the Senate to come together in a majority, bipartisan vote to disapprove of this economically disastrous carbon mandate from the administration,” Inhofe said. “This vote sends a clear signal to the international community that the American people will not stand in support for an agreement that would result in double-digit electricity prices in 40 states, put hundreds of thousands of people out of work, and have no meaningful impact on global warming. In this country, it is Congress who writes the laws, not EPA. There are numerous legal problems with the Obama administration’s carbon rules and especially its Power Plan, which is why 27 states, 24 national trade associations, 37 rural electric cooperatives, 10 major companies and 3 labor unions representing 878,000 members are now challenging the final rule in court. This rule faces a dead end road with these entities requesting a judicial stay that will put the rule on hold early next year. There will be no possibility of legislative resurrection once the courts render the final judgments on the president’s carbon mandates. Our economy deserves better than being forced to take on the unjust burden of a potentially illegal mandate that we cannot afford.”



The Senate voted in two Congressional Review Act disapproval resolutions to block the Existing Source Performance Standard (ESPS) and the New Source Performance Standard (NSPS), which is also widely known as President Obama’s signature carbon mandate.  This policy, also referred to as the Clean Power Plan, was proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) in June of 2014.

On Feb. 11, the Senate EPW Committee held a hearing, Oversight Hearing: Examining EPA’s Proposed Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rules from New, Modified, and Existing Power Plants, to examine the proposed rules and its potential impacts.  Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, testified.

On Mar. 11, the Senate EPW Committee held a hearing, Examining State Perspectives of the EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide emissions rule for existing power plants, to hear from state regulators responsible for compliance with the existing source proposal.

On Mar. 23, the Senate EPW Committee held a field hearing in Beckley, West Virginia, Hearing to Examine Impacts of EPA’s Carbon Regulations in Coal-dependent West Virginia.

On May 5, the Senate EPW Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety held a hearing, Legal Implications of the Clean Power Plan, to examine the legal issues surrounding EPA’s carbon regulations.

On Jun. 23, the Senate EPW Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety held a legislative hearing on the ARENA Act (S.1324) and on the impacts of EPA’s proposed carbon regulations on energy costs for American businesses, rural communities and families. 

On May 13, Senator Capito introduced the ARENA Act as the principal legislative vehicle to roll back the President’s carbon mandates, including the EPA’s Power Plan.  Inhofe was an original cosponsor.

On Jul. 8, the Senate EPW Committee held a hearing, Road to Paris: Examining the President’s International Climate Agenda and Implications for Domestic Environmental Policy, to examine the president’s Climate Action Plan with a particular focus on his international goals in the context of the ongoing international climate negotiations.

On Aug. 3, Inhofe released a statement in response to President Obama’s finalization of the EPA’s Power Plan.

On Aug. 4, the Senate EPW Committee released a Majority Staff Oversight Report titled, Obama’s Carbon Mandate: An Account of Collusion, Cutting Corners, and Costing Americans Billions. The report is the product of an ongoing investigation by committee Republicans on EPA’s development of Obama’s climate rules.  The full report can be read here.

On Aug. 5, the Senate EPW Committee successfully marked up the ARENA Act, despite the Democrats walking out of the markup and further illustrating their lack of commitment to addressing the flaws in the president’s carbon mandates.

On Sept. 29, the Senate EPW Committee held a hearing, Economy-wide Implications of President Obama’s Air Agenda, to hear from Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation.

On Oct. 27, Inhofe and 48 other Senators filed Congressional Review Act (CRA) Resolutions of Disapproval against the carbon emission standards for new and existing sources.