WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, praised President Bush’s new energy proposal announced today which includes expanding refinery capacity. The President outlined the new proposal this afternoon while speaking at the Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Conference. “The President’s announcement today that he plans to expand refinery output is welcome news in efforts to reverse the country’s growing dependence on foreign sources of energy,” Senator Inhofe said. “By directing regulators to simplify the rules that stymie expanded refinery output – rules that do little to protect the environment, but much to worsen our looming crisis – the President has adopted a commonsense approach to helping keep gas prices down. As currently interpreted, these rules – known as new source review (NSR) – have the unintended consequence of inhibiting refinery production. Clarifying the intent of these rules helps rectify this problem. For instance, by clarifying that process units that increase production, but are in compliance with their permits, should not be subject to costly, time-consuming requirements simply due to the elimination of an upstream or downstream bottleneck, the President is tackling our energy challenge head-on.” Additionally, groups such as the National Governors Association and Governors’ Public Power Alliance have previously written in support of the New Source Review reform: “The New Source Review requirements should be reformed to achieve improvements that enhance the environment and increase energy production capacity, while encouraging energy efficiency, fuel diversity and the use of renewable resources.” National Governors Association August 2001 Resolution “Given the nation’s current economic and international situation, we urge you to break the ten year logjam with the EPA on simplification and reform this program.” Governors’ Public Power Alliance ###