The top Republican Senate voice on the environment blasted a $718,000 U.S. grant to China to set up environmental standards there as “inconceivable” at a time of financial crisis.
Sen. Jim Inhofe told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview, “Right in the middle of this financial crisis, we want the public to know that the Obama administration, through the EPA, is sending millions of dollars to countries like China and India and places where we don’t really have those interests.”
The money was part of $27 million sent overseas by the EPA. Beijing got it to help China research methane in coal mines and reduce carbon emissions, but Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee says the world’s most populous nation has plenty of its own money to do such things.
Calling it “the outrage of the year,” Inhofe said, “To send our tax dollars to China is inconceivable. It’s hard to believe.” China is estimated to own $1.2 trillion of U.S. debt.
Other money that was identified by the House Energy and Commerce Committee included $700,000 to Thailand to recover methane from pig farms, $15,000 to Indonesia for a “Breathe Easy, Jakarta” publicity campaign, $1.2 million to the United Nations to promote clean fuels and $150,000 to Interpol to fight fraud in carbon trading programs.
“This shows you want they’re trying to do,” said Inhofe. “When they were unable to pass cap and trade here in the United States… Obama and his EPA decided ‘well if they’re not going to pass the legislation, we’ll do it through regulation.’
“They’re also sending money all over the world, Thailand and every place else including China, to encourage them to pass legislation they couldn’t get passed here.”
The Oklahoma senator said he is also monitoring EPA grants in this country, saying money is going to liberal lobbying groups. He said the groups have “shields or front organizations” that get the money and then pass it on to be used for political purposes.
He claimed it went back to the days of the Clinton administration when there was “a heavy involvement of bureaucrats within the EPA using that money to promote a liberal agenda.”
“We stopped that, or slowed it down during the Bush years, now it’s back again.”
Inhofe said there is little that can be done to rein in the EPA as such moves would fail in the Democratic-controlled Senate, but he predicted the Upper House would be won back by the GOP in 2012. Defeating Barack Obama would then become even more important as a Republican president would be less likely to veto such moves.
He said he sometimes has to ask himself if Obama isn’t deliberately trying to harm the U.S. by refusing to allow more drilling.
“The United States of America has the largest recoverable reserves of coal, oil and gas of any place in the world. We could be completely self-sufficient just in this hemisphere, except for Obama and the Democrats who won’t let us drill. If we could open up the Gulf, the east coast, the west coast and the North Slope and our public land, we wouldn’t have to import one barrel of oil from the Middle East.”
And he said Republicans should have made it clearer at last year’s midterm elections that moratoria on drilling was not a bipartisan issue. “It’s 100 percent partisan. The Democrats will not allow us to develop our own resources.
“We have all of this supply. We have all of this demand. We can meet our demands locally with our own resources, but the liberal politicians, in this case the Democrats, won’t let us do it.”