Inhofe: EPA rules is 'wrong direction' for country

Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.) was the only Republican to join Senate Democrats in debating climate change on Monday night.

Inhofe has authored a book claiming that climate change is the biggest “hoax” perpetrated on mankind.

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The climate change debate came on the heels of an announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that is intends to regulate carbon emissions in an effort to reduce power plant pollution by 30 percent over 15 years. Republicans called this President Obama’s latest blow in his “war on coal.”

Inhofe said the rule would result in the closure on power plants and force the country to rely on less reliable energy sources, such as wind and solar.

“We don’t always have a sun that’s going to be shining or wind that’s going to blow,” Inhofe said. “But there is always a demand for power.”

Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) used the floor time to cite scientific evidence that humans are having a negative effect on the environment, particularly by producing greenhouse gases.

“Sen. Inhofe and many of us hold very different points of view on global warming. I think he’s wrong but I’m glad that he is here,” Sanders said. “Virtually the entire scientific community believes that climate change is real and it’s already creating problems.

“What disturbs me about this debate is the rejection of basic science,” Sanders continued. “It saddens me that a majority of my Republican colleagues are doing just that.”

Sanders said the Senate should reject the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, end tax subsidies for oil and coal companies, invest in clean energy research, and implement a national carbon tax.

Inhofe said a national carbon tax would be the largest tax increase ever.