Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe criticized President Barack Obama’s doubling down on fighting global warming Tuesday night, arguing that the president’s planned climate regulations were simply “a wealth redistribution scheme.”
“Why the pain for no gain?” Inhofe asked in a rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union speech. “As The Wall Street Journal put it when reporting on just one of the president’s many climate regulations, this is a wealth redistribution scheme being imposed by the president through the EPA.”
“This is the real climate agenda the president chose not to address tonight. It is no wonder because it would impose the largest tax increase in the history of America,” Inhofe added.
Obama’s second-to-final State of the Union speech Tuesday night focused mainly on his “middle class economics” plan to increase taxes on the wealthy and ramp up social programs. His speech only mentioned the word “climate” four times. But the president warned that doing nothing to fight global warming means “we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”
Obama also touted his own policies put in place to fight global warming. Though the president did not specifically mention his most contentious policies: proposals to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing power plants.
“That’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it,” Obama said. “That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history.”
“In Beijing, we made an historic announcement : The United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions,” Obama continued. “And because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got.”
Inhofe slammed Obama’s climate grandstanding, arguing that fighting global warming will accomplish little and harm the economy.
“The president’s ‘War on Fossil Fuels’ and nuclear energy is most evident in his unbridled mandates being issued by the EPA,” Inhofe said. “While he markets these regulations as a means to save us from global warming, a recent NERA [consulting company] study predicts the president’s climate agenda would only reduce CO2 concentration by less than one-half of a percent; it would only reduce the average global temperature by less than 2/100th of a degree; and it would only reduce the rise of sea levels by 1/100th of an inch – or the thickness of three sheets of paper.”
Inhofe warned that “the President’s agenda will cost our economy $479-billion dollars; we will experience a double-digit electricity price increase; and tens of thousands of Americans will lose access to well-paying jobs over the course of the next decade.”
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