WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, praised the outcome of today’s cloture vote effectively halting the Climate Tax Bill. With bipartisan opposition, the measure failed by a vote of 48-36; significantly shy of the 60-vote margin necessary for it to proceed.
“Already facing skyrocketing prices at the gas pump, in our homes, and at the grocery store, Oklahomans are rightfully asking why the U.S. Senate spent the past week debating legislation that would push costs even higher,” Senator Inhofe said. “Unfortunately, many Washington, D.C. politicians believe that the best way to approach any issue is to raise taxes, regulate more, and increase the size of the federal bureaucracy.
“In typical Washington fashion, the committee process was short-circuited, the floor debate was circumvented, and the amendment process was derailed. Thankfully, reality hit the U.S. Senate when the economic facts of this bill and its impacts on skyrocketing gas prices were exposed.”
This legislation would have been the largest tax increase in history, the largest expansion of government in over 70 years and the largest pork bill. Yet, as the Environmental Protection Agency analysis shows, the so-called “solution” would result in substantial economic harm for no climate gain.
The America’s Climate Security Act, better known as the Climate Tax Bill, would hit Oklahomans particularly hard. Multiple government and private economic analyses show that the bill would have increased household costs for every family of four in Oklahoma by $3,298 every year. Furthermore, the various independent government analyses also show an increase at the gas pump somewhere between $.41and $1.01 per gallon by 2030.
“Oklahoma’s family farmers and ranchers would have faced what equated to an agriculture tax on crops upwards of $12 billion in 2020 alone,” Inhofe decried. “It is no secret that Oklahoma’s and the nation’s agricultural community are already dealing with exploding prices for inputs such as diesel and fertilizer, and this legislation would have inflicted significant harm on the folks who work hard every day to put food on our tables.”
Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling addressed the economic hardships of the bill, saying in a release earlier this week, “We believe this legislation unfairly penalizes farmers by forcing them to comply with climate change regulations and makes it more difficult for them to compete in the global market… Agriculture is significantly affected by volatile fuel and natural gas prices, and we believe this legislation will raise the costs of energy and natural gas to levels that make it uneconomical to continue farming or ranching."
Inhofe also expressed concern about the negative impacts the legislation would have had on Oklahoma and the nation’s energy sector, saying, “Oklahoma’s energy industry employs more than 55,000 Oklahomans and is vastly important to this country’s energy independence, as we have 10 percent of this nation’s proven reserves of natural gas.” A study by Wood McKenzie estimates that the Climate Tax would put at risk as much as 32% of America’s expected natural gas supply by just 2012. An analysis by ICF international indicates that the bill would increase the operating costs of natural gas wells by roughly 50% in 2012 and 100% by 2030. At particular risk is marginal well production, which contributes a significant percentage of American production and constitutes a significant amount of producing wells in Oklahoma. “If these estimates prove just partially true, natural gas well production, as we know it today, would become nearly non-existent and one of Oklahoma’s most significant industries would be destroyed,” Inhofe said.
“The pathway forward is a technology approach to energy policy that brings in the developing nations such as China and India. As Oklahoma demonstrates, tomorrow's energy mix must include more natural gas, wind, geothermal and renewable energy, but it must also include oil, coal, and nuclear energy, which is the world's largest source of emission-free energy. Developing and expanding domestic energy will translate into energy security and ensure stable sources of supply and well-paying jobs for Americans.”