President Barack Obama’s visit to Cushing, Oklahoma, the “Pipeline Crossroads for the World,” took him to ground zero for climate disasters in the United States. Since 2007, Cushing alone has been hit by disastrous drought, severe summer storms, ice storms, and wildfire. The state of Oklahoma — home to the country’s most visible climate denier and oil industry apologist, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) — has the greatest density of disaster declarations in the country, an analysis by Environment America has found. Six Oklahoma counties have each experienced 10 or more declared presidential climate disasters since 2006:
In 2011, Oklahoma was hit by the disastrous Groundhog’s Day blizzard, flooding rains in April, tornadoes in May, and then set the national record for the hottest summer ever of any state in the union, smashing the previous record set by Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl summer of 1934 by 1.8 degrees.
American taxpayers are footing the bill for these fossil-fueled disasters, motivated by the obligation to care for their fellow citizens no matter where they live.
In his speech, Obama made no mention of the climate disasters that have hit Oklahoma. “It is good to be back in Oklahoma,” he said. “I have not been back here since the campaign, and everybody looks like they are doing just fine.”