Opening Statement of Senator James Inhofe
Senate Environment and Public Works Full Committee
An Update on the Science of Global Warming and its Implications
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Madame Chairman, I am very disappointed to see that this Committee is once again beginning its deliberations on global warming in the wrong manner. Rather than focusing on substantive issues that would be helpful to the debate on global warming legislation, this Committee is choosing to engage in more political theater with a predetermined outcome. The rushed process and the complete lack of understanding of the policy implications of the Lieberman Warner doomed it from the start. Opposition to the bill was not limited to Republicans, as nearly 30% of Senate Democrats refused to support the bill.
If this Committee were serious in undertaking efforts to draft global warming policy rather than score political points, it should be focusing its efforts in a much more methodical and deliberative manner that acknowledges the complexity of the issues surrounding any mandatory emission reduction policy. Regardless of my own position on this topic, the Committee should be exploring issues to help build a record on how to draft a cap and trade system, the level of technology currently available to achieve reductions, how to allocate credits, how to design an auction system, how to create a domestic offset program, what the international impacts will be on trade and particularly exports, how to effectively contain costs through a transparent mechanism, and the list could go on.