The chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — an ardent foe of President Obama’s climate change policy — said Obama should indeed heed the words of Pope Francis.
“The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable. Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good,” Pope Francis said today.
“This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical which I recently wrote in order to ‘enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.’ We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said after the congressional address that lawmakers do have “an important role to play in how the United States cares for our environment.”
“When Congress and a White House administration work together, we can address environment policy in a way that improves the livelihood of Americans while also protecting and even bolstering future economic opportunity for our nation. I know this first-hand as an original sponsor of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,” Inhofe said.
“Since the original Clean Air Act became law, Americans are breathing the cleanest air in several decades and we continue to reduce pollutants in our environment as a result of this policy. These environmental advancements have simultaneously taken place while our nation has increased its use of energy consumption by 47 percent, population has grown by 53 percent, and economic development has improved by 219 percent.”
Meanwhile, though, Obama “has taken a different approach during his time in office,” the chairman continued.
“He instead has worked for the past seven years to cut Congress out of environmental policy by way of regulatory overreach with his so-called Clean Power Plan. The president is even using these climate regulations to make promises to the international community that are unachievable and will have no measurable impact on his objective of changing global warming patterns,” Inhofe said. “…The president’s climate agenda stands to create more poverty, not less.”
“Congress does have an important role to play in our environment, and my committee has put forward bipartisan solutions, to include reforming the Toxic Substance Control Act, reauthorizing the Brownfields program, and sending EPA’s regulations back to the drawing board with suggested improvements from Congress. I hope the president will take heed to the Pope’s words, and he will consider the policies we are putting forward to care for our environment while also safeguarding America’s prosperity.”