If Republicans gain control of the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) believes that he will lead the Environment and Public Works Committee. Inhofe made the comments to 50 plant managers in Catoosa, Oklahoma, the Tulsa World reports.
Inhofe, who wrote a book called, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, served as chairman on the environmental committee for four years. David Vitter (R-LA) replaced him as the ranking GOP member on the committee chaired by Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for the 113th Congress. GOP rules limit members to six years of service as committee chairs, meaning that Inhofe could theoretically reclaim his position for another two years should Republicans win the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections.
Inhofe, still a senior member of the environmental committee and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, has been one of the most obstructive Senators when it comes to meaningful climate change legislation.
Besides his book, Inhofe authored a report titled “The Facts and Science of Climate Change,” in which he argued that “alarmists will scare the country into enacting their ultimate goal: making energy suppression, in the form of harmful mandatory restrictions on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions, the official policy of the United States.” He also questioned whether global warming “is even a problem for human existence.”
Inhofe has also said that humans lack the ability to affect the climate because control is limited to divine powers: “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what [God] is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”
In 2006, Inhofe compared environmental advocates to the Third Reich. More recently, Inhofe claimed that cold weather disproved his substantial opposition and that fewer Senators are supportive of efforts to address climate change.
During his 25-year tenure in Congress, Inhofe has received nearly $1.6 million in contributions from the oil and gas industries, by far his largest donor base. Fossil fuel organizations have donated over $300,000 to him since 2009. Inhofe is up for re-election this year, but he is unlikely to lose his seat.