INHOFE RELEASES NEW NATURAL GAS REPORT Environmental Policies Driving Demand, Restrictions on Exploration Driving Costs Higher

United States Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today released a new report, Energy and the Environment: The Future of Natural Gas in America. ìSpecial interest opposition groups who only a few years before praised natural gas as an environmentally preferable fuel, today oppose even the concept of exploration and production. This report examines that hypocrisy and its negative effects,î Senator Inhofe said. ìI am troubled by the disregard of clear environmental policies implicit in a host of environmental laws that include man living with the environment. After all, the goal of the National Environmental Policy Act is to ëcreate and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony.íî In March 2004, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee conducted an oversight hearing examining the environmental impacts of natural gas. The new report released today on the Committeeís Majority Web site builds on the information gathered at the hearing, and discusses the high costs associated with natural gas, the impact of those costs on American consumers, and the effects environmental regulations are having on domestic natural gas exploration that would increase supplies. Report Highlights: Environmental policies are driving demand for natural gas while other policies are restricting supply resulting in high prices. High natural gas prices hurt consumers and American workers. The cost of natural gas in the United States is much higher than elsewhere in the world ñ including Western Europe ñ thus our manufacturers and farmers are at a competitive disadvantage. Natural gas exploration, production and infrastructure must be viewed in light of current technology which has significantly reduced environmental impacts. Promoting efficiency is important, but supplies must increase to lower prices.