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Inhofe: Cap-and-Trade Largest Tax Increase in U.S. History


Sen. James Inhofe tells Newsmax that the cap-and-trade bill that Democrats support would amount to "the largest tax increase in the history of America" — and won't accomplish anything.

The Oklahoma Republican also he would be "shocked" if the bill has enough votes to pass the Senate.

The bill, which the House passed, requires a 17 percent reduction of greenhouse gases — mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels such as coal — by 2020 compared with 2005 levels, and about an 80 percent reduction by mid-century. It would also allow polluters to buy and sell emission allowances as a way to ease the cost of compliance.

See Video: Sen. James Inhofe talks about the dangers of cap-and-trade to the American economy - Click Here Now

Inhofe is the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which is holding several meetings this week.

Inhofe told Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella that the meetings are addressing the cap-and-trade bill that "Barbara Boxer and John Kerry are trying to get to the floor of the Senate and get considered at some point.

"Here's the problem they have: The public has drifted away from their side. I can remember when 70 percent of the people in America thought that anthropogenic gas and CO2 were causing global warming. That's not true anymore.

"If people go to my Web site,, and look it up, [they will see that] I've given many speeches on the Senate floor talking about, documenting, literally hundreds of scientists who are on the other side of this issue and are now saying, wait a minute, this isn't true."

Inhofe said the earth goes through cycles of warming and cooling, and the most recent warming period "ended nine years ago, so we've been in another period since that time. Consequently they're losing the [support of] science rapidly.

"As for the economics, people know this would be the largest tax increase in the history of America, and you don't accomplish anything with it."

Inhofe disclosed that he recently asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson whether the cap-and-trade bill would actually result in a reduction in C02 emissions, and she said it wouldn't.

"The reason it wouldn't is that it doesn't matter what we do in America — if we drive our manufacturing base off to places like China, India, and Mexico, places where they don't have any emissions standards or restrictions, then it's going to have the effect of increasing and not deceasing CO2."

Nevertheless, Inhofe added, "There is a level of desperation" in the Democrats' efforts to push through the bill.

Martella asked whether manmade greenhouse gas emissions are in fact the biggest culprit in climate change, as supporters of cap-and-trade maintain.

"They're trying to say that, but with every day that goes by, science is no longer their friend," Inhofe said. "We in fact know that is not true.

"Stop and think about this: If we were to have heavy restrictions in the United States, as are called for in the cap-and-trade bill that's offered by John Kerry and Barbara Boxer, that would be a tax increase of between $350 and $400 billion a year.

"That would mean for anyone who is watching or listening to you and me right now, it would cost them about $2,000. I say about because in Oklahoma and Texas it's a lot more than that. It's closer to $3,000.

"Now why would you pass a tax increase that size if it doesn't have any benefits, even if you believe that manmade gases cause global warming? It's totally unreasonable."

Inhofe told Martella that a recent report indicated the U.S. is "the number one provider of what you have to call recoverable assets. Our problem is that we're not developing our own resources.

"Now we know that we have the largest reserves of oil and gas and coal in the world, and yet politically, the Democrats will not allow us to drill. They have a moratorium on drilling offshore. They won't allow us to develop our own resources."

Martella noted that the climate change bill was written by two of the most liberal members of Congress, Boxer and Kerry, and asked whether any moderate Democrats would oppose the bill along with the Republicans.

"Absolutely, There's quite a few of them," Inhofe responded.

The bill passed the House with 219 votes, "barely a majority," he said, just as a similar bill in the 1990s did. That bill, he pointed out, "didn’t even come close in the Senate.

"In the Senate they'd have to have 60 votes, and quite frankly, right now I'd be shocked if they have 30 votes in favor of this huge tax increase."

That is not only far short of the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster, it is also short of the 51 votes needed for a majority in the Senate.

Inhofe added: "They don't have the votes, and they're hysterical."

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Democrat Governor is blocking a corruption investigation of his Office of Attorney Ethics