GOP chairman blasts Obama’s ‘war on fossil fuels’

The chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee accused President Obama of taking credit in his State of the Union address for energy industry successes that his policies are trying to hurt.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) used his response to Obama’s speech as an effort to criticize some of Obama’s top environmental policy priorities, including carbon pollution limits for power plants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


“The president’s war on fossil fuels and nuclear energy is most evident in his unbridled mandates being issued by the EPA,” Inhofe said in his response.

Inhofe said the rules would have minimal impacts on worldwide carbon dioxide concentrations, global temperatures and sea levels.

“In the meantime, the president’s agenda will cost our economy $479 billion; we will experience a double-digit electricity price increase; and tens of thousands of Americans will lose access to well-paying jobs over the course of the next decade,” he said.

Rep. Rob BishopRobert (Rob) William BishopOvernight Energy: Outdoor retailer Patagonia makes first Senate endorsements | EPA withdraws Obama uranium milling rule | NASA chief sees 'no reason' to dismiss UN climate report Patagonia makes its first election endorsements with two Western Democrats Daylight Saving Time costs more than it's worth MORE (R-Utah), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said Obama should focus more on increasing oil and gas development on federal land.

“President Obama tonight spoke about expanding our economy and attaining energy security, but time and again, he has actively blocked the responsible development of our domestic energy resources,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party used its official response to the address to criticize Obama’s inaction on the Keystone XL pipeline — an issue Obama didn’t directly confront.

“President Obama has been delaying this bipartisan infrastructure project for years, even though many members of his party, unions, and a strong majority of Americans support it,” Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstSenators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — House, Senate leaders named as Pelosi lobbies for support to be Speaker The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Leadership elections in Congress | Freshman lawmakers arrive | Trump argues he can restrict reporter access MORE (R-Iowa) said in the GOP response.

The House voted to approve the pipeline and the Senate is likely to pass the bill soon.

“President Obama will soon have a decision to make: will he sign the bill, or block good American jobs,” she asked.