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Republican Senators Blast US-China Climate Statement As ‘Non-Binding Charade’

Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) slammed President Obama for forging a pact with China to cut greenhouse gas emissions, calling the deal a ‘non-binding charade.”

Inhofe, who is poised to take the helm of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee next year, said China cannot be expected to hold up its end of the bargain in the deal announced late Tuesday night.

“It’s hollow and not believable for China to claim it will shift 20 percent of its energy to non-fossil fuels by 2030, and a promise to peak its carbon emissions only allows the world’s largest economy to buy time,” Inhofe said in a statement on Wednesday. “China builds a coal-fired power plant every 10 days, is the largest importer of coal in the world, and has no known reserves of natural gas.”

“This deal is a non-binding charade,” he added.

The historic deal included pledges from both countries to cut emissions drastically far into the future. 

The U.S. committed to slash greenhouse gas emissions between 26 percent and 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. China said its emissions would peak by 2030 or earlier. 

The administration is betting that the deal will send a signal to countries across the globe that the top emitters are committed to acting on climate and others should follow suit. The push is meant to bring global leaders to the table in time to sign a climate accord during talks next year in Paris.

But Inhofe argues the president has no ground to stand on after an election that gave a strong majority to Republicans, who vowed to fight the administration’s climate agenda. 

 “The American people spoke against the President’s climate policies in this last election,” Inhofe said. “As we enter a new Congress, I will do everything in my power to reign in and shed light on the EPA’s unchecked regulations.”

He’s not alone in his anger. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also railed against the president on Wednesday, claiming the deal would “lead the American people down a road that will increase the cost of living and further reduce the number of American jobs.”

“The President appears to be undeterred by the American people’s clear repudiation of his policies of more regulations and higher energy costs,” McCarthy added.

Next week the House plans to vote on bills aimed at what they call “secret science” used by the Environmental Protection Agency to support the administration’s carbon pollution rules, and climate agenda. 

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