January 24, 2012
Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
Inhofe Comments on State of the Union Address
Washington, D.C. – Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works commented on President Obama’s State of the Union Address tonight.
“President Obama has clearly received the message that his global warming agenda is gone, dead, done with the American people – that’s why he was touting oil and natural gas so much in his State of the Union address tonight,” Senator Inhofe said. “He understands that especially in a weak economy, Americans want the hundreds of thousands of jobs, the affordable energy prices, and the increased energy security that domestic fossil fuel development brings. But while he talks the talk, he is clearly still determined to achieve his global warming agenda by shutting down oil, gas and coal development so that energy prices will, as he said himself, ‘necessarily skyrocket.’
“President Obama congratulated himself tonight on decreasing imports of oil from the Middle East, but failed to mention that his policies of energy austerity, which have caused gasoline prices nearly to double since he took office, are responsible for it. If he is determined, as his Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, to ‘boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe’ he is well on his way to achieving that goal. He claims to care about energy security, yet he stopped the Keystone pipeline – and the 20,000 American jobs it would have created – which would have done more than any other project to increase our energy security and revive our economy.
“He took credit for increased natural gas production, but this is the same President who said that we have to develop natural gas in a way that won’t ‘poison people’ and has an administration that is waging a regulatory assault on hydraulic fracturing – the primary method of shale gas extraction – even though under state regulation, there has not been one confirmed case of water contamination from fracked formations. America is having a natural gas boom not because of the President but precisely because the President has stayed out of it. Our immense shale deposits are located predominantly in areas of the country where states regulate oil and gas development, not the federal government. In states like Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, and North Dakota, a virtual boom in natural gas and oil development is transforming America's energy outlook, all thanks to the absence of President Obama’s federal red tape.
“As with all his State of the Union addresses, his global warming agenda is the ultimate goal – it’s just that now he intends to achieve through regulations what he could not achieve through legislation. His speech tonight showed that he continues to believe that throwing money at companies like Solyndra is the answer. He remains committed to regulating greenhouse gases through the EPA, which will cost American families $300 to $400 billion a year. But this is just the tip of the iceberg: the barrage of regulations coming out of EPA taxing electricity and gasoline have become known as the ‘train wreck’ for the incredible harm they will do to jobs and the economy. In fact, the cost all these regulations put together add up to about the same as our national deficit, which is a recipe for economic disaster.
“Knowing that Americans need regulatory relief, President Obama has promised to scale back regulations but has continually failed to deliver, especially when it comes to the EPA – an agency that has the most aggressive and most harmful regulatory agenda in American history.”