Sen. Jim Inhofe warns of looming EPA cap-and-trade regulations.
“We defeated cap and trade,” [Sen. Inhofe] said. “It’s not going to happen.”
But Inhofe said he failed to anticipate the Obama administration’s next move: “They are going to try to do it through regulations.”
Inhofe criticized U.S. EPA’s so-called endangerment finding that says greenhouse gases are harmful to human health and therefore can be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
The finding, as well as other climate change science, Inhofe said, was widely discredited in the “Climategate” scandal, which involved the theft of emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.
Environmentalists, Democrats and public health advocates have strongly pushed back on the notion that man-made climate change is only a “theory,” as many Republicans have suggested.
An animated Inhofe lambasted EPA regulations, including new air pollution rules for industrial boilers and incinerators, as well as air rules limiting mercury and other air toxic emissions from power plants.
The “overregulation that is taking place right now,” he said, “is probably worse” than anything else the administration is doing.
The “crown jewel” of the regulatory effort, he said, is new air pollution rules EPA is considering for greenhouse gases from power plants.
The agency is drafting Clean Air Act standards for power plant greenhouse gas emissions under the terms of a settlement with environmentalists. EPA sent the proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget in November, but OMB has yet to release it.
EPA was supposed to finalize the rule last May, but it has been repeatedly delayed. The agency has said it expects to release the rule this month (E&E Daily, Jan. 31).
Inhofe said the rule could cost as must as $300 billion to $400 billion per year.