Inhofe: Climate Change a ‘Hollywood Problem’

WASHINGTON -- Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, told PJM that China is “celebrating” U.S. efforts to reduce its carbon emissions because “they will end up inheriting” much of America’s manufacturing base.

Inhofe also called climate change a “Hollywood problem.”

“Everyone is supposed to make a commitment in Paris. You know what their commitment was? Well, they are going to continue to increase. Right now, every 10 days China builds a new coal-fired power plant and they are going to continue to do that by their own admission until 2020, then they say they may start reducing it,” Inhofe told PJM during an interview on Capitol Hill. “Why would we be the leader and they all follow us when it’s something that is a failure and they know it in their own minds?”

In 2009, the Democratic-led House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, also known as cap-and-trade, but it failed in the Senate. According to Inhofe, that legislation would have carried a price tag of about $3,000 per family in the U.S.

Despite the bill’s defeat, congressional Democrats have argued that the U.S. should lead the world on climate change regardless of how many countries pledge to reduce their emissions. Inhofe called that argument “garbage,” telling PJM that China currently has “no restrictions” on its emissions.

“The problem is in China. It’s in India. It’s in Mexico, so it wouldn’t do any good for us. In fact, just the opposite could be true. As we chase our manufacturing base overseas because it’s too expensive here, they will go to places like China where there are no restrictions,” Inhofe said. “We’re talking about the largest tax increase in history and it will not reduce CO2 emissions.”

Inhofe told PJM the United Nations annual meeting on climate change is a “big party” that typically draws more than 190 countries. Inhofe said a friend of his from West Africa attended in 2003.

“I said, ‘Luke, what in the world are you doing here? You don’t believe any of this stuff.’ He said, ‘But this is the biggest party of the year.’ You know, the worst thing that can happen is they run out of caviar, but this is the big party. They all come in and for 21 years they have been doing this and nothing has been accomplished,” he said.