Transcript: Sen. Inhofe, Rep. Markey on 'FNS'

The following is a rush transcript of the December 13, 2009, edition of "FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace." This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: The president heads to Copenhagen this week for the climate change summit, prepared to commit this country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Joining us now, two members of Congress at the center of this debate, Senator James Inhofe, perhaps the leading critic of global warming legislation, is in Tulsa, and here with us in studio, Democratic Congressman Ed Markey, the author of the House cap and trade bill.

Senator Inhofe, in Copenhagen, the president is reportedly going to pledge the U.S. will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by the year 2020 and will contribute billions of dollars to developing countries to help them reduce their emissions.

How much authority will the president's pledge have?

SEN. JAMES INHOFE, R-OKLA.: Well, see, Chris, that's the reason I'm going, to make sure people in these other 191 countries know the president can't do that.

The initial reductions he's talking about are what you find in Markey's bill, and that isn't going to happen. And of course, that bill's dead. It will never even be brought up again.

And on top of that, he's going to commit, I understand, to some $10 billion a year to the developing countries. Now, here's China that holds $800 billion of our debt and we're going to give them $10 billion to stop generating electricity? I don't think that's going to happen.

WALLACE: So to answer my question directly, how much authority, how much force of power, will the president's pledges have?

INHOFE: Oh, I'm sorry. No, he doesn't have that power to do that. And people in other countries don't realize that.

Now, what he's going to try to do — since he knows that no legislation on cap and trade is going to pass, he's going to try to do it with an endangerment finding. Now, the irony here is they just declared that on the opening day of Copenhagen, and that is all based on the IPCC.

I hope people...

WALLACE: But you know — let — let me...

INHOFE: ... who are watching this now...

WALLACE: We'll get to the endangerment finding in a moment.

But I want to see, Congressman Markey, if you agree with this. Your bill did pass the House, but climate change legislation is stalled in the Senate. Can the president commit this country to anything in Copenhagen?

REP. ED MARKEY, D-MASS.: Without question, the president does have the authority to make a commitment based upon the endangerment finding — that is the authority the EPA will have, combined with higher fuel economy standards and other efficiency gains which we're going to make, including improvement in renewable electricity generation.

So as the president goes there, based upon the Waxman-Markey bill, which has passed through the House of Representatives, which is a 17 percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020 — the bill that's already passed through the Senate Environment Committee, which is also a 17 to 20 percent reduction, combined with all of the other activity that Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Joe Lieberman, Senator John Kerry...

WALLACE: Yeah, but none of this has passed.

MARKEY: ... Senator Susan Collins are all moving towards, there is real momentum now building for a bipartisan bill to pass through the United States Senate.

WALLACE: Senator Inhofe?

INHOFE: Chris, I have to say this. His bill, the Markey bill — it passed through the House in the middle of the night on a weekend by a bare majority. And then, of course, the Environment and Public Works Committee that's chaired by Barbara Boxer — there is nothing more liberal or so bad that it couldn't pass that committee.

It's dead on arrival at the floor. Everybody knows that. And we're not going to have legislation. So it has to come down to what can the president do without legislation. And I think that is highly limited. And I'll — when we get to that, I'll explain why.

WALLACE: Well, OK. We are — we are going to get to that. But I want to pivot a little bit here.

While much of the focus, Congressman Markey, is going to be on reducing emissions, perhaps the most controversial issue in Copenhagen will be aid to developing countries to help them shift away from the use of fossil fuels.

Now, on Friday, the European Union committed to $10.5 billion aid from the E.U. to developing countries over the next three years. How much should the U.S. commit? And how do you guarantee that if it commits billions of dollars that it doesn't end up getting wasted or stolen?

MARKEY: Well, Todd Stern, our chief negotiator, already said this week that none of this money will go to China. But we will have to help to fund the preservation of the rain forests of the planet. They are the lungs of the earth. They are the — they are the protectors of the balance that exists...

WALLACE: But how much money? You heard Senator Inhofe talk about $10 billion. Is the president going to commit $10 billion?

MARKEY: Well, the president is talking about approximately $3 billion that he is willing to commit. But again, we are doing that in the context of ensuring that countries that are most adversely affected around the world are protected, that the forests of the world will also be preserved.

So there has to be a contribution that is made by the United States.

WALLACE: But when...

MARKEY: And by the way, the more that we preserve and protect the rest of the world from deterioration is the less that our industries will have to do...

WALLACE: But — but when we...

MARKEY: ... to reduce their greenhouse gases as well.

WALLACE: But when we see — Congressman, when we see the disaster that was the U.N. Oil for Food Program, how can you ensure if we spend $3 billion — and there's talk about $10 billion a year total contribution by the developed world to the developing world, so we're talking about a lot of U.S. money, billions and billions of dollars.

How do you ensure that money doesn't end up getting wasted? How do you ensure it doesn't end up getting stolen?

MARKEY: Well, we will have to abide by the Ronald Reagan "trust but verify." We will have to have very strong verification procedures that are put in place in order to make sure that this money is being spent in order to protect against dangerous global warming.

WALLACE: Senator Inhofe, at a time when this country faces serious economic problems and a huge deficit, what are the chances Congress is going to pass billions of dollars in aid to developing countries to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions?

INHOFE: Well, I have to say this, Chris. Right now the Democrats control everything. They have the White House, the House and the Senate and they have huge majorities.

And in the Senate, the Senate may be able to stop it. The House will pass anything, but the Senate takes 60 votes with a filibuster. And I think perhaps we can stop that — I'm confident that we can — in the Senate. But keep in mind, that money's going to help all these countries do something that they don't want to do. China doesn't want to reduce its greenhouse gases, its CO2. India doesn't want to. Mexico doesn't want to.

They're chomping at the bit hoping that we'll pass something unilaterally in the United States so that our jobs will go off to China and to India. And by the way, everyone keeps saying that China is going to cooperate on this thing, and yet China is — they're cranking out three new coal-fired generating plants every week.

WALLACE: Let me — let me...

INHOFE: So they don't have any intention to do that.

WALLACE: ... let me, if I can, get to this question of the EPA which we talked about at the beginning.

The EPA now says — and it does have a Supreme Court ruling that gives it the authority — that it can regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

And this week a top White House official warned Congress — and let's put it up on the screen — if it doesn't pass a bill, the EPA "is not going to be able to regulate in a market-based way, so it's going to have to regulate in a command and control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty."

Command and control — Senator Inhofe, doesn't that force Congress' hand?

INHOFE: No. But what they're trying to do is intimidate Congress into passing something. We hear this every day.

But the problem they're going to face is the same problem that we faced as Republicans when we had the White House and the House and the Senate. There are people in the environmental far left community that were filing lawsuits.

Now, if this endangerment finding — as soon as it hits the Federal Register, Chris, there are going to be people that will be filing lawsuits because, by their own admission, the endangerment finding comes as a result of the IPCC, which is the...


WALLACE: We should explain. That's a U.N. agency, the IPCC.

INHOFE: Yeah. Yeah, a lot of people don't understand how this whole greenhouse thing started. It was all the United Nations, and they developed this IPCC. Now we know they developed this to try to — try to steer science in their direction.


WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Let me — let me let Congressman Markey get in here.

What about the argument — and it's an argument a lot of people are making — if the EPA wants to go down this road and try to, you know, force Congress, and Congress bucks out at that, you're going to end up with decades of lawsuits?

MARKEY: Well, it's no longer a question, Chris, of legislation or no legislation. It is now a question of legislation or regulation. The EPA can act.

And the — not only has the Obama administration made an endangerment finding, but the Bush administration made an endangerment finding in May of 2008. They sent it over to the White House. That's the — that's the Bush EPA. And Dick Cheney refused to accept it.

And so this is now something which is going to happen. And the only question now is whether or not, as you say, command and control of the EPA is going to be the way in which we solve the problem, or legislation that allows us to protect trade-intensive, energy- intensive industries, to protect consumers...


MARKEY: ... is put in place...

INHOFE: You're wrong.

MARKEY: .. which legislators can...

WALLACE: Wait, wait. Gentlemen, let me bring in — because I'm sure our viewers are screaming at this point. They want to hear about "climategate," and they want to hear what the two of you have to say. And this, of course, are the hundreds of e-mails that were either leaked or hacked from one of the leading climate research centers in the world that happens to be in Britain.

And let's put up just two that have caused some of the greatest concern. From 1999, "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years, i.e. from 1981 onwards, and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." And he's talking about to hide the decline in temperatures.

And from 2009, "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. Our observing system is inadequate."

Congressman Markey, I was laughing because you're bringing up this prop here. Let me ask you, how damaging are those e-mails? And let me ask you a larger question, because you and Al Gore talk about climate deniers.

Now, oftentimes that phrase is used — Holocaust deniers. But the Holocaust was a historical fact. We're talking here about science, and science usually welcomes opposing views.

MARKEY: Well, here is the comprehensive study done by thousands of scientists around the world that is the definitive study that was used by the United Nations and the nations of the world to say that we must do something about climate change, we must do something about global warming.

Here on page 473, and on other pages, is the discussion of those e- mails, the discussion of the subject material in those e-mails — Siberian tree rings, OK?

Now, what's happening now is that the deniers want to create a Siberian tree ring circus. They want to take a small percentage of this entire study, a couple pages of it — 1,000 pages — and throw out the conclusion, the overwhelming conclusion, of scientists in the world that there is dangerous global warming.

The real scandal will be...

INHOFE: I thought the Senate was supposed to be filibustering.

MARKEY: The real — the real scandal will be — is if we don't solve this problem...

WALLACE: OK. Let me bring...

MARKEY: ... for coming generations...

WALLACE: Let me bring...

MARKEY: ... of young people...

WALLACE: Let me bring in Senator Inhofe.

MARKEY: ... on our planet.

WALLACE: Whatever you want to say about the e-mails, Senator Inhofe, the fact is that just this week, the World Meteorological Organization said that this decade is the warmest on record and that 2009 is the fifth warmest year on record. Does that mean nothing?

INHOFE: It — well, it means — it means very little because that was based on the same flawed science, the IPC science, that we have been looking at.

Now, we have to say on the science thing that this is something that - - we saw this coming years ago, and for those individuals who doubt the fact that it's flawed science, listen to what the U.K. Daily Telegraph said. They said it's the worst scientific scandal of our generation. Publications all over have looked at this and decided that.

But let me say this, Chris, because I know we're running out of time. Four years ago on the Senate floor, I gave a speech — it's in my Web site, — you can look it up — and at that time I outlined what all these scientists had come to me saying how they were denied the opportunity to give their view to the IPCC.

It's all cooked science. And now when this "climategate" came out, all that did is just verify everything I said four years ago. Look it up. It's there.

WALLACE: Gentlemen, I didn't think we were going to end this debate. In fact, we certainly have not. But I want to thank you, Senator Inhofe and Congressman Markey, both so much for coming in. And, gentlemen, please come back. This is a debate that will continue.

INHOFE: Thank you, Chris.

MARKEY: Thank you.

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