7 Nov 2014

Climate change denier Jim Inhofe in line for Senate's top environmental job

The Senate’s top environmental job is set to fall to Jim Inhofe, one of the biggest names in US climate denial, but campaigners say Barack Obama will fight to protect his global warming agenda.
Oklahoma Republican Inhofe has been denying the science behind climate change for 20 years – long before it became a cause for the conservative tea party wing. Following midterm elections which saw the Republicans take control of the senate, he is now expected to become the chairman of the senate environment and public works committee.
However, advocates believe Obama will work to protect his signature power plant rules from Republican attacks, and to live up to his earlier commitments to a global deal on fight climate change.
“We think he sees this as a critically important part of his second term legacy and there is no reason why he should not continue to go forward on this... both domestically and around the world,” Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, told a press briefing.
The campaigners were less clear, however, how far Obama would be willing to fight to block the Keystone XL pipeline project.
Obama will get a chance to show he is still committed to fighting climate change during a trip to Beijing next week, where the US and Chinese are expected to announce new energy co-operation.
Extracting a pledge from China to cut emissions is hugely important now for Obama, who faces growing pressure from Republicans to demonstrate that other countries beyond the US – especially the high-emissions, rising economies – are acting on climate change.
“It is a domestic political imperative for the president to gain emissions reductions from China and other major emitters as much as it is an international policy goal,” said Paul Bledsoe, a climate change official in the Clinton White House.
“The president is under increasing pressure to gain emissions reductions from China and other major emitters in order to justify US domestic mitigation policy. That is going to be the spin Republicans put on it – that we are wasting our time with domestic emissions reductions because they will be swamped by developing countries’ pollution.”
Obama is going to feel that pressure the most from Congress. With his opponents now in control of both houses, the top slot on the Senate’s environment and public works committee passes from a climate defender, the California Democrat, Barbara Boxer, to Inhofe.
He published a book in 2012 calling global warming a hoax, and has compared the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Gestapo.
A spokeswoman for Inhofe said his first concern was passing the defence budget, and that he would make no comment on his leadership roles until next week.
But if, as expected, Inhofe becomes the new committee chair next January, he will probably try to dismantle the EPA rules cutting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants – the centrepiece of Obama’s environmental agenda.
Industry lobbyists and campaigners said Inhofe lacked the votes to throw out the power plant rules entirely.
Obama would also veto any such move, said Scott Segal, an energy and coal lobbyist with Bracewell & Giuliani.


  1. The climate is dynamic, which is to say constantly changing. Greenland was not named such out of wishful thinking. Mr. Inhofe denies anthropomorphic-caused global warming, which as a failed paradigm has been rebranded as climate change. I will accept global warming the day we are told that the obvious climate engineering (via chemtrails) is the reason the global climate has not warmed since 1998.

  2. Yes, climate change and global warming are two different things. It is Orwellian to conflate the two. It is not controversial that climate is changing.

    If warming alarmists had so much science on their side, they wouldn't have to resort to Orwellian tactics. Its that simple.

    If someone questioned how you know the Earth is a globe, you would not throw up your hands and say, "All the experts agree! There is so much evidence, I can't even explain!" No, you would cite the evidence, like the fact that at the North pole you see different stars than at the equator. Yet alarmists are constantly ranting about how many experts and how much evidence there is, as if that makes it harder for them to give an example.