Fox News reports, “The agency’s proposal would impose tough new limits on the amount of carbon dioxide new plants are allowed to emit, essentially requiring any new coal plants to install carbon-capture technology, which critics argue is too expensive.”
Inhofe contends that in order to prevent clashes over the proposed rule coming to a head prior to the midterm elections, the EPA intentionally delayed submitting the rule to the Federal Register.
The Oklahoma senator raised these issues in a letter addressed to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, wherein he questioned the agency’s decision to submit the rule to the Register on November 25, two months after the proposal was released.
"Based on this sequence of events, it appears that the delay in the proposal’s publication may have been motivated by a desire to lessen the impact of the president’s harmful environmental policies on this year’s midterm elections," Inhofe wrote.
Inhofe referenced an article in Politico about the delay between releasing the rule and submitting it for the public. Such a move will prohibit Republicans from forcing a vote on repealing the regulation until after the midterms.
It was Politico that observed that newly released documents contradicted claims made by the EPA. The publication also noted:
EPA’s 66-day delay between releasing the rule and submitting it is well out of line with the one- to five-day lags seen in several of the agency’s other hot-button rules in recent years. Still, this is not the first time EPA has been accused of slow-walking regulations for political reasons — Republicans complained about delays in numerous major agency efforts during the 2012 presidential race.
Inhofe observes that the timeline is in direct contrast to assertions made by McCarthy, who claimed that the rule was submitted to the Federal Register “as soon as that proposal was released” to the public on September 20. However, the fact is that the regulation was not submitted until November 25.
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Photo of Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.): AP Images