Political Climate
May 25, 2007
Inhofe Introduces Bill to Address Soaring Energy Prices

WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today introduced the Gas Petroleum Refiner Improvement and Community Empowerment Act of 2007, or the Gas PRICE Act, designed to ease America’s soaring gas prices and work toward achieving energy security. As the Ranking Member and former Chairman of the EPW Committee, Senator Inhofe has not only raised concerns about soaring energy prices and energy security over the years, he has also worked to provide sensible solutions. While Chairman, Senator Inhofe conducted a series of hearings detailing how environmental regulations impact energy security. These hearing led to Senator Inhofe introducing the Gas Price Act in 2005 aimed at improving and expanding domestic energy supply in the United States. The bill introduced today builds on that legislation but is different in a few material ways. Today’s Gas PRICE Act answers the understandably loud cry from the public to increase clean fuel supplies from domestic sources.

“Today’s Gas Price Act will increase domestic fuel supplies in several significant ways. Importantly, my bill redefines and broadens our understanding of a ‘refinery’ to include a ‘domestic fuels facility.’ Oil has been and will continue to play a major role in the US economy, but the future of our domestic transportation fuels system must also include new sources of energy such as ultra-clean syn-fuels derived from coal and cellulosic ethanol derived from home grown grasses and biomass. The Gas PRICE Act improves the permitting process for the expansion of existing and construction of new domestic fuels facilities, as well as encourages economically distressed communities to consider siting ultra-clean syn-fuels and cellulosic ethanol refineries in their towns. The public demands more supplies but they also demand that they be clean. My bill establishes an EPA program assessing the use of these ultra-clean syn-fuels as a pollution control strategy. Last, in order for there to be a viable cellulosic biofuel market, stakeholders and the public must know exactly what our renewable fuel reserves potentially may be. This legislation requires a task force to determine just that. See EPW Press Release

May 23, 2007
Inhofe Blasts CA Policymakers for Hypocrisy & Reveals the State Has Been Cooling for Two Decades

Senator Inhofe said during today’s Environment & Public Works Committee Hearing that “It is hypocrisy for California policymakers to try to be the tail that wags the dog when it comes to the Clean Air Act.” California was granted a unique provision of the Clean Air Act to help it address its extensive pollution. Although several areas in California are among the most polluted in the country and the furthest out of compliance with the Act, the state is using the waiver provision to try to set national policy on greenhouse gases. Ironically, Senator Inhofe also noted that California has been cooling over the last two decades.

As I learned more about efforts to control pollution in this country, I found out that California is the only State in the Union that is extensively ignoring federal law,” Senator Inhofe added. Senator Inhofe also pointed to California’s inconvenient temperature trends. “I know many Californians proudly say that their state leads the nation when it comes to the environment. While I disagree when it comes to California’s commitment to air quality, it may be true in one circumstance. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, over the last two decades, California’s temperature has cooled by .06 °C – or about a third of a degree per century. Yes, I said cooled. So if Russia’s top solar scientist is correct that the Earth is heading into a cooling phase, California is indeed leading the nation and even the world,” Senator Inhofe said. See the blog story here

May 22, 2007
The Human Impact of Anti-warming Legislation

By Robert E. Murray on Dow Jones Marketwatch

Draconian legislation, such as the McCain-Lieberman or Bingaman bills, would impose arbitrary caps on the use of coal, despite the destructive implications to our economy. While some want us to believe that the science behind so-called global warming is certain, to the contrary, the actual environmental risk associated with carbon emissions is highly speculative.

It is a fact, however, that every proposal introduced to date would present a far greater risk that carbon-dioxide emission limits will destroy coal- and manufacturing-dependent communities and inflict great hardships on America’s families. Further, carbon capture, transfer and sequestration technologies have not been commercially developed, and the needed investment in them must not be thwarted by discussions of “global warming” legislation.

Some wealthy elitists in our country who cannot tell fact from fiction can afford an Olympian detachment from the impacts of draconian climate-change policy. For them, the jobs and dreams destroyed as a result will be nothing more than statistics and the cares of other people. These consequences are abstractions to them, but they are not to me. I can name many of the thousands of the American citizens whose lives will be destroyed by these elitists’ ill-conceived global-goofiness campaigns.

What will the worldwide environmental gain be from the pain that will be suffered by millions of American citizens? The answer: very little. Since 1990, U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions have increased by 18%, while China’s have increased 77%. China’s emissions will surpass ours by 2009. By the middle of the century, China and India will emit twice as much carbon as the United States and the European Union, combined.

The climate-change science is uncertain, and carbon-dioxide-capture technology has not been proved on a commercial scale. Congress must not be stampeded into pre-empting thorough climate research and development of carbon-capture, -transfer and -sequestration technologies with emotionally developed or politically motivated legislation in the current hysterical rampage to enact carbon-dioxide-limitation mandates. Americans must consider carefully the impact that climate-change legislation will have, not only on the environment, but on citizens, too. This is a human issue as well as an environmental one.  See full story here.

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