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Inhofe: Cap and Trade Will Cost U.S. 800,000 Jobs

By    |   Wednesday, 22 April 2009 02:52 PM

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe tells Newsmax that the Obama administration’s plans to curb carbon emissions would immediately cost the U.S. 800,000 jobs and actually lead to a net increase in worldwide emissions.

Sen. Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the Committee on Environment and Public Works, also said an Environmental Protection Agency proposal would raise taxes by $400 billion a year — and charged that Obama is “gutting” the military.

[Editor's Note: Watch Sen. James Inhofe discuss Obama’s budget-busting cap-and-trade plan - Go Here Now]

Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella pointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “endangerment finding” — once the EPA makes a finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare under the Clean Air Act, it could issue regulations covering nearly every facet of the American economy, without Congressional approval. He asked for Sen. Inhofe’s view on the subject.

“About seven years ago I was all alone on this issue,” Inhofe responded.

“That was back when they decided how much it was going to cost us if we had complied with the Kyoto Treaty. The range was between $300 and $330 billion a year as a tax.

“Now you fast forward to the current time. We have defeated every effort on the floor of the Senate for them to have a mandatory cap and trade or a greenhouse gas emissions tax. And now what they’re trying to do, Obama is trying to do in the White House, is what they’ve been unable to do through the legislative process.

“In fact, they only have 39 votes and they need 60 votes in the United States Senate. So they’re talking about an endangerment hearing … and if they’re successful in doing it this would open the door to lawsuits all over America. They could say if I’m cooking on my patio in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it could eventually get to the polar bear and all these silly things.

“So they’re really going to attempt to do this, and we just have to keep telling everyone they can’t do it legislatively so they’re trying to do everything from the White House. We can’t let it happen. This thing would be close to $400 billion a year as a tax increase.”

Martella noted that some Republicans have said cap and trade will add at least $3,000 a year to every American’s energy bill, and asked what would be the result if it is rammed through Congress.

“The $3,000 comes as a fairly accurate figure,” Inhofe said. It depends on what part of the country you’re from. It’s greater in the central part of the country than it is on both coasts.

“It would be huge and what it would amount to is something that would have no effect on reducing CO2.

“First of all, their assumption is that science agrees that CO2 causes global warming. Everyone thought that was true about seven years ago, but over the last seven years we found that hundreds of scientists have said it really isn’t true.

“If people want to see this, we have a Web site, inhofe.senate.gov. You can look that up and see the names of over 700 scientists that used to believe that CO2 caused global warming and now don’t believe it.

“For those people out there who still believe that CO2 [and other gases] are causing global warming, then ask yourself the question: What good does it do for us in the United States to unilaterally restrict and tax emissions if other countries don’t do it?

“It’s estimated by the Heritage Foundation that if they are successful in their endangerment findings in the White House, it will cost us 800,000 jobs almost immediately. The jobs, where would they go? They would go China, India, Mexico. They’d go to places where they don’t have any emissions restrictions.

“Consequently we would have a net increase worldwide in CO2, so it just doesn’t make any sense. But when you’re dealing with the Hollywood elitists, the extremist environmentalists, you don’t have to make sense.”

Martella asked if Republicans can mount an effective filibuster against cap and trade.

“We can beat it, but what we can’t beat is if they want to do it unilaterally through the Clean Air Act, through regulations,” Inhofe said. “That doesn’t take legislation.

“What we want to do is not be intimidated into going ahead and saying we can pass something less onerous than having it regulated from the White House under the Clean Air Act. I won’t do that. I won’t play that game with them. I want them to assume full responsibility so when the people of America find out it’s costing every taxpaying family $3,000 a year and they don’t get anything for it, I want it to be the White House’s fault and not ours.”

Regarding the Obama administration’s cuts in the Pentagon budget, Martella asked the senator — who also serves on the Armed Services Committee — what he views as the worst cuts.

Inhofe: “Let’s look at a few of the programs that he’s cutting. The F-22. That’s the only fifth generation fighter that we have. We have a total of 187 of them. We’re supposed to go up to 750. He’s stopping the assembly line now.

“In other words we’re not going to have any more fifth generation fighters. And yet Russia is cranking them out, the SU-30s, China is cranking them out. So our kids would be going into battle with F-15s and F-16s, which are not fifth generation fighters.”

He also mentioned cuts in transport planes and the missile defense system, adding: “These are things that are necessary to defend America and they’re gutting the military.”

[Editor's Note: Watch Sen. James Inhofe discuss Obama’s budget-busting cap-and-trade plan - Go Here Now]

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Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe tells Newsmax that the Obama administration’s plans to curb carbon emissions would immediately cost the U.S. 800,000 jobs and actually lead to a net increase in worldwide emissions.Sen. Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the Committee on Environment...
Wednesday, 22 April 2009 02:52 PM
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