GOP chairman takes aim at climate rules in energy debate

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Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has introduced a set of amendments to a Senate energy bill designed to diminish or scrutinize Obama administration climate rules.

Inhofe’s office said Tuesday that he has introduced or co-sponsored 16 amendments to the energy policy bill pending on the floor this week. 

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Several are designed to chip away at President Obama’s landmark emissions rule for power plans, with three blocking the government from implementing the rule until it’s proven to make no change to grid reliability, energy prices or employment. Other amendments would require new reports on various impacts of the Clean Power Plan.

Inhofe also co-sponsored two amendments to delay an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule limiting the acceptable amount of surface level ozone and another to “ensure EPA adheres to existing regulatory standards” as laid out in the law. 

Inhofe also co-sponsored a handful of bipartisan amendments related to the cleaning up potentially contaminated sites and alternative energy. 

The Oklahoma senator is one of the loudest critics of environmental policies instituted by the EPA during the Obama administration, and he’s held a series of hearings on the agency and its rulemaking since taking the gavel of the Environment an Public Works Committee last year. 

Senators have filed more than 200 amendments to the energy reform bill. The underlying legislation has broad bipartisan support, and several of the 11 amendments approved last week did as well. 

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Obama integrates climate change into national security planning GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase Overnight Energy: Lawmakers kick off energy bill talks MORE (R-Alaska), a bill co-sponsor and the chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Monday that she and staffers are working through the rest of the amendments to figure out which will get votes on the floor. 

“Eleven is a good number, but honestly I had hoped that we would have been able to process more amendments last week,” she said. “I want to move forward and process even more over these next couple days.”