Inhofe Takes On Obama’s Latest Global Warming Order: ‘No Authority’

james_inhofeOklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe is challenging the White House’s latest order on how federal agencies take global warming into account in reviews of government actions or projects.

Inhofe argues the White House guidance has no force since the Council on Environmental Quality’s chairman has not been confirmed by the Senate. CEQ hasn’t had a Senate-confirmed chairman since 2014, which means their guidances have no force under federal law.

“Under the Vacancies Reform Act, no person may perform the duties of the vacant CEQ Chairman position until the President has nominated a candidate who is subject to Senate confirmation,” Inhofe said in a statement.

White House officials released a new guidance on how federal agencies should consider global warming when conducting environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. Inhofe has been pushing back on CEQ’s guidance for months since there’s no confirmed chairman.

The last CEQ chairman, Nancy Sutley, resigned in 2014, and was followed up by Michael Boots, but Boots left the White House in 2015. Inhofe says lower officials, led by Managing Director Christy Goldfuss, have no authority under federal law without a confirmed chairman.

“With no Senate-confirmed chairman, or even a nominee, today’s guidance can have no force or effect as CEQ staff have no authority to take any official action,” Inhofe said.

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    “It is now well established that rising global atmospheric GHG emission concentrations are significantly affecting the Earth’s climate,” according to the guidance. “Studies have projected the effects of increasing GHGs on many resources normally discussed in the NEPA process, including water availability, ocean acidity, sea-level rise, ecosystem functions, energy production, agriculture and food security, air quality and human health.”
    Can we who will have to pay for this directive be shown documentation (data) that supports this foundational statement? If there is no evidence that their foundation is valid the directive shouldn’t stand. If the foundational studies relied on unverified models they are inappropriate for a basis of policy decisions. No mater what resources are normally discussed in the NEPA process without valid proof of CO2 being the effective agent there is no reason to consider it in the evaluation. In fact there is no way to consider it in and engineering sense.

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