Senate's top climate denier bashes Obama's energy pact

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Sen. Jim Inhofe isn't a scientist, but he was quick to dismiss President Obama's climate agreement with China.


Inhofe (R-Okla.), an outspoken climate-change denier, called the deal one-sided and said China's promise to shift 20 percent of its energy production to renewable sources is "hollow."

"In the president's climate change deal, the United States will be required to more steeply reduce our carbon emissions while China won't have to reduce anything," Inhofe said in a statement Wednesday. "This deal is a non-binding charade."


Any new Obama climate regulations will face staunch opposition from Congress. Inhofe is expected to become chairman of the Senate committee that oversees environmental policy when Republicans take over the majority next year.

The non-binding agreement calls for the U.S. to cut carbon emissions by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and for China to stop the growth of emissions by 2030.

The U.S. could reach its target emissions rate "under existing law," according to the White House. But GOP leaders in the House and Senate indicated they would try to roll back key Obama administration environmental policies.

“Our economy can’t take the president’s ideological war on coal that will increase the squeeze on middle-class families and struggling miners,” Mitch McConnell (Ky.), the soon-to-be Senate majority leer, said in a statement.


House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) said the U.S.-China pact "is yet another sign that the president intends to double down on his job-crushing policies."

"Republicans have consistently passed legislation to rein in the EPA and stop these harmful policies from taking effect, and we will continue to make this a priority in the new Congress," he added.


Almost two-thirds of all Americans support stricter limits on power plants to address climate change, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

Jordan Fabian is Fusion's politics editor, writing about campaigns, Congress, immigration, and more. When he's not working, you can find him at the ice rink or at home with his wife, Melissa.

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