The incoming Republican chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said fighting environmental regulations will not be his top priority in the next Senate.
Instead, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) plans to focus on funding transportation infrastructure, the other main role of the environment panel.
Inhofe told the newspaper that he is frustrated that Congress has been unable recently to find a long-term funding stream for surface transportation infrastructure, and he wants to work to find a solution.
His priorities come as environmentalists and Democrats express concern that he will seek to dismantle major rules on climate change and other environmental priorities.
He is an outspoken climate skeptic who has called climate change the greatest hoax in recent years.
Inhofe told the World that he will still do everything in his power to fight green policies, including trying to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn regulations.
In addition to climate policies, he vowed to fight changes to the Endangered Species Act, redefinition of the federal government’s Clean Water Act jurisdiction and fuel storage rules.
“A lot of people think regulation is offensive just to business and industry,” he told the World. “It is not.”