Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
Inhofe Vows to Keep Fighting to Hold EPA Accountable
Effort Exposed EPA Agenda of Abuse
Washington, DC - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today said following the Senate vote on SJR 37 that the effort behind his resolution provided the opportunity for those who will be most severely impacted by the Obama-EPA's war on coal to have their voices heard in the Senate - and to see which Senators are listening. Senator Inhofe added that as the Senate debated his resolution over the past few months, EPA's radical agenda was thoroughly exposed, and he vowed that he will continue fighting to put a stop to President Obama's war on oil, natural gas, and coal. Senator Inhofe's resolution would have prevented the Obama-EPA from implementing its Utility MACT rule - one of the most expensive regulations in history - and sent EPA back to the drawing board to craft a more workable rule. Today 46 Senators voted in favor of the measure; it needed 50 votes to pass.
"Today the US Senate had the opportunity to put a stop to the centerpiece of President Obama's war on coal," Senator Inhofe said. "Unfortunately, even though a majority in this body has gone on record as wanting to rein in an out-of-control EPA, espcecially those from coal states, some chose not to stand with American families but with President Obama - and they are complicit in the millions of jobs that will be lost and the skyrocketing energy prices that will be forced on their constituents.
"While we were not able to put a stop Utility MACT today, our momentum continues to build, as a growing chorus is rising up against the Obama-EPA's radical green agenda. Whether its EPA regulations hurting farmers, a 'crucify them' philosophy against American energy producers, or an admission from EPA officials that their rules designed to kill coal will be 'painful every step of the way,' this much is clear: EPA is earning a 'reputation for abuse.' During the course of this debate, we exposed the economic pain of EPA's rules, gaining the strong bipartisan support of business groups and labor unions, of Democrats and Republicans from states that will feel the heavy hand of the federal government as it puts them out of business.
"Our fight is not over: we will continue to do everything possible to expose what the Obama-EPA's damaging regulatory regime will do to destroy jobs and weaken our economy, and work every day in our efforts to stop President Obama's war on oil, gas and coal."
Over the past few months leading up to today's vote, Senator Inhofe was able to expose EPA's "reputation for abuse," which includes:
EPA's "Crucify Them" Agenda
Former EPA Region 6 Administrator was caught on tape admitting the truth that EPA's "general philosophy" is to "crucify" and "make examples" of oil and gas companies. He resigned from his post in April after this video was made public.
EPA War on Coal "Painful Every Step of the Way"
EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding was caught on tape admitting that EPA deliberately and consciously made the decision to kill coal. As he said, "Lisa Jackson has put forth a very powerful message to the country. Just two days ago, the decision on greenhouse gas performance standard and saying basically gas plants are the performance standard which means if you want to build a coal plant you got a big problem." He also said that the decision by EPA to kill coal was "painful every step of the way" because "you got to remember that if you go to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and all those places, you have coal communities who depend on coal" and people in these communities will lose their jobs.
Strong Bipartisan Support to Stop EPA's War on Coal
As the devastating impacts of President Obama's war on coal were exposed, Democrats and Republicans joined in Senator Inhofe's effort to fight back.
Five Senate Democrats, Senators Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Joe Manchin, Jim Webb, and Mark Warner chose to listen to their constituents and support SJR 37. These announcements came just after letters backing the resolution were sent by the Democratic Governor Earl Tomblin of West Virginia, West Virginia Lieutenant Governor Jeffrey Kessler, as well as a group of bipartisan West Virginia legislators. In April, 24 state attorneys general, including one quarter of all Democratic state attorneys general, filed suit to overturn Utility MACT because of the devastating effects it will have on jobs and their states' economies; these are Democrats from Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Senator Inhofe also secured the support of labor unions: Cecil Roberts, President of the United Mine Workers of America - one of the biggest labor unions in the country - recently sent a letter to several Senators saying that the union's support for Senator Inhofe's resolution is "based upon our assessment of the threat that the Utility MACT rule poses to United Mine Workers Association members' jobs, the economies of coal field communities, and the future direction of our national energy policy."
National Federation of Independent Business as well as nearly 80% of the private sector - businesses that are apparently not "doing fine" in the face of EPA's job-killing regulations - supported SJR 37. The National Association of Manufacturers, the largest manufacturing association in the United States also sent a letter of support for SJR 37, noting that "The Utility MACT regulation is one of the most expensive rules ever written for power plants and, according to one analysis, would cost nearly $95 billion. These costs will be passed down to residential consumers and U.S. manufacturers, which use one-third of our nation's energy."