WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee announced new Committee Members and recognized the contribution of those leaving the Committee:

New Republican Members of the Committee will be: Senators-elect David Vitter (R-LA), John Thune (R-SD), Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Johnny Isakaon (R-GA). They will be replacing Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Cornyn (R-TX), Thomas (R-WY) and Wayne Allard (R-CO).

“I want to welcome to the EPW Committee its newest Republican members: Senators -elect Thune, DeMint, Vitter, and Isakson. They are all of the highest caliber and I have no doubt that they will be making valuable contributions to this Committee. With the membership of the committee now determined, I look forward to moving ahead on an aggressive agenda. The new members of this committee will be vital allies in passing the President's Clear Skies legislation and improving our nation's infrastructure by getting a highway bill signed into law.” Senator Inhofe said.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to Senator Crapo for his immense contributions to the EPW Committee, and thank him for his strong leadership and work as Chairman of the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water Subcommittee. It is my intention to continue to work closely with him as the Committee considers reforms to the Endangered Species Act. Together with all of the outgoing Senators, we have worked to restore important principles for environmental issues - that of sound science, cost benefit, dealing with real risks and ensuring the bureaucracy is here to serve, not rule,” Senator Inhofe concluded.

The EPW Committee will be comprised of 10 Republicans, 7 Democrats and 1 Independent. The Democrats recently announced that Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Senator-elect Barack Obama (D-IL) will be filling the Minority vacancies on the Committee replacing Senators Ried, Graham (retired) and Wyden. Inhofe welcomed the new members by stating, “I welcome both Senator Lautenberg and Senator-elect Obama to the EPW Committee. It is my hope to work with them on the many matters of significant importance to this nation that will come before the Committee.”