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Inhofe abandons reality: Mideast unrest isn’t causing gas price surge, a bill the Senate never voted on is!

By Joe Romm  

"Inhofe abandons reality: Mideast unrest isn’t causing gas price surge, a bill the Senate never voted on is!"

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A senior US senator on Thursday ruled out violent unrest across the Middle East as a main cause of surging oil and gasoline prices, placing the blame instead on plans to curb greenhouse gases.

“A lot of people are saying that the gas prices that are going up are a result, partially, of what’s happening over there. That isn’t the real problem,” said Republican Senator James Inhofe….

Even for an anti-science irrationalist like Inhofe, this is a quantum leap into an alternate universe.  But I’m not certain what is more bizarre — his denial of reality-based explanations or what he has chosen to replace reality with:

Inhofe said that “the real problem” was President Barack Obama’s efforts to enact a cap-and-trade plan to curb emissions of greenhouse gases blamed by scientists for global warming.

Yes, apparently a bill that never became a law — one that never even came up for a vote in the U.S. Senate — has some how been endowed with vampire-like powers capable of spooking global oil markets more than 6 months after it died.  Who knew Inhofe was a Twilight fan?

“My message today simply is the higher gas prices are simply a product of this administration’s goal,” said the lawmaker, effectively contradicting market analysts who have pinned the rise on regional turmoil.

Inhofe’s comments came as Republicans, who have vowed to roll back environmental laws they blame for stifling economic growth, sought to harness soaring gas prices to assault Obama’s energy policies.

While Inhofe’s inane embellishments are a logical extension of recent GOP attacks — if Obama is to blame for higher oil prices, then MidEast reality can’t be — they simply fall apart on closer examination, as discussed yesterday (see “Drill, baby, drill fails: Oil prices soar in spite of sharp increase in U.S. production under Obama“):

USFieldCrudeProd2000-2010 New

Unlike U.S. newspapers, which still feel obliged to present even the most anti-scientific statements as if they were plausible, AFP simply continues the story with this paragraph:

Turmoil in Libya has fueled a sharp rise in oil prices that eased Tuesday when Saudi Arabia — the world’s largest supplier — said it would counter any disruptions of the global market.

In short, it is simply a fact that the recent rise in oil prices is being driven by events in the Middle East.

But, of course, global warming is a settled fact, too, but that never stopped Inhofe from his reign of error.

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21 Responses to Inhofe abandons reality: Mideast unrest isn’t causing gas price surge, a bill the Senate never voted on is!

  1. Jim Groom says:

    The good senator of big-oil is indeed beyond reason and logic. Why he’s still in office beats the hell out of me. But I can’t help but wonder about the folks who keep returning him to office. The people have given us this cretin and only the people can send him home. Apparently they love him or perhaps they aren’t paying attention to the nonsense he says.

  2. Scrooge says:

    Is there anyway a senator can be found psychologically incompetent to hold office. This is actually a serious question. It appears he has delusions.

  3. Rob Honeycutt says:

    What’s really going to be bizarre is the throngs of zombies that start repeating what Inhofe says.

  4. Solar Jim says:

    “Inhofe abandons reality”

    What, a headline from twenty years ago? What whould we expect from a representative of the petroleum pipeline crossroads of petro-state America (R – NOT OK). I’m sure he is in favor of the planned international XL Keystone tar sands oil pipeline, which will cross his state, too. US druggies need the fix. Inhofe can fix US good. Petro-Pipelines R – US. To hell with the forests, the waters, the landscape and those pesky carbonic acid gases.

    Anyone have an antacid?

  5. Berbalang says:

    People ought to start asking Inhofe if he is still going to claim Global Warming is a Hoax even when the Arctic Ice Cap melts completely. Get his response on the public record and make it well known! It may not seem like much now, but it will pay big dividends in the future!

  6. Deborah Stark says:

    You know, I’ve been watching and hard-copy archiving this nonsense since fall 1999. I think this kind of thing has gone on long enough. Not kidding. This is straight-up insane.

  7. Lore says:

    If Inhofe can spin the blame of the current oil price spike on efforts to enact a cap-and-trade plan, he can just as easily concoct a bizarre fantasy for the Arctic ice cap melting.

    There is no end to this type of madness, or people that believe in it because they want to.

  8. Mike says:

    Cap and trade would reduce our vulnerability to oil price shocks.

  9. Louise says:

    Inofe has been irrational for quite a long time, so he’s irrational on the subject of gas prices and the cap & trade bill. But rising gas prices are a result of exploitation of the unrest in the middle east, not a straight-line effect:
    http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/blog/facts-life-high-gas-prices-its-speculators-oil-companies-blame-not-middle-east

  10. Michael Tucker says:

    Inhofe is such a tool of big oil!

    I am completely disgusted with these useless legislators and I am tired of the lies.

    Let’s see how things work out for Saudi Arabia after tomorrows protest. If today’s response is any indicator the outcome looks bad. I hope I’m wrong.

    “Saudi police opened fire at a rally in the eastern part of the kingdom Thursday, the Associated Press reported, citing a witness in the city of Qatif. The witness saw police fire on several hundred protesters marching in the street.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110310-712810.html

    And how did the market react???

    “Both main crude oil benchmarks, Brent and West Texas Intermediate, were considerably lower for much of Thursday’s trading session, along with U.S. equity markets. That trend shifted on the reports out of Saudi Arabia though. U.S. crude shot up almost $3.50 to cross $104 a barrel before pulling back to $103.22. Brent crude, the European benchmark, shot up to $116.55 a barrel.”

    http://blogs.forbes.com/afontevecchia/2011/03/10/oil-prices-jump-on-reports-of-saudi-violence/

  11. DavidCOG says:

    > Inhofe abandons reality: Mideast unrest isn’t causing gas price surge, a bill the Senate never voted on is!

    Joe, an editorial suggestion – that title could have been:

    > Inhofe abandons reality – part 184: Mideast unrest isn’t causing gas price surge, a bill the Senate never voted on is!

    You could then keep counting them, a la Tim Lambert with his series, ‘The Australian’s War on Science – Part nnn.’

    Similarly, Prof. Watts could have his own series: ‘The Dishonesty (with added “shouting down”) of Anthony Watts – Part nn’. :)

  12. Geo77 says:

    American politics, driven by right-wing propaganda, has been a fantasy never-never land for decades. And why not? If people keep screaming absurdities and then get re-elected as a reward why would we expect it to stop? We don’t suffer the consequences for years and then the fantasy island types just spew further absurdities blaming the consequences on the other political party or whatever outside group is currently chosen to be the object of hate. Wait 50 years until AGW is more evident and they’ll probably finally have to confront it – and blame it on the teachers unions. Sadly I place a lot of the blame for our current state of affairs on the mainstream media. They’ve been intimidated and bamboozled to the point that they don’t know which way is up. We have met the enemy and he is us.

  13. Mark Shapiro says:

    Ron Suskind quoted Karl Rove in 2004 saying;

    “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities . . .”

    Republicans, and “conservatives” generally, make stuff up, as much as they like. Worse, it keeps working. (For example, see NYT front page today: NJ Republican Governor Christie blunt talk isn’t always straight.)

  14. George Ennis says:

    The senator along with the rest of the GOP is like a matryoshka doll, one illusion nesting within another ad infinitum. I doubt if even the Senator himself knows what is real anymore. He is part of the 30% to 40% of the population which it is imply pointless trying to engage in a serious conversation not just about climate science but almost every public policy issue. There is no shared set of facts which they will accept if it is in conflicts with their faith, political philosophy, financial interests etc.

  15. Ed Hummel says:

    When the Arctic Ocean becomes ice free by late summer in the not too distant future, Inhofe will just echo what some other wacko deniers are saying and proclaim undersea volcanic activity. On the other hand, he might invoke cold war rhetoric and proclaim some nefarious undersea activity by the Russians.

  16. Inhofe said that “the real problem” was President Barack Obama’s efforts to enact a cap-and-trade plan to curb emissions of greenhouse gases blamed by scientists for global warming…
    Inhofe should know the most successfull Cap n Trade pollution abatment marketing agreement was inacted by Ronald Reagan in 1989,one of North America’s greatest environmental laws that was 100% sussessfully in cleaning up our lakes and forests of acid rain and similar agreements cleaned up leaded gasoline and ozone depleting chemicals (HFC’s) and also help enact the Montreal Accord of which there are 184 world participants…not bad for 1989…remains today, the most effective law to reduce CO2…better than Kyoto…what Conservative/ Republicans can do when they want to…go figure. I guess in Inhofe’s brain, this makes Reagan now ..the real problem..

  17. deryk anderson says:

    OOOPS….The Cap n Trade Bi-lateral agreement was the Acid Rain Accord, of course…

  18. ToddInNorway says:

    We need to send our complaints about the Honorable Senator Inhofe to all the major local newspapers in Oklahoma. Surely some of them will catch on, and start the process of ruining his reputation once and for all so he can choose to not run for re-election.

  19. Jan says:

    I think he is neither insane nor irrational (given his position on climate), but probably knows very well what he is doing.

    He is a US senator, and (given the he-said-she-said-journalism, see desmogblog 10 March 11) he will be quoted. It will stick with some people and reinforce their dislike of Obama/everything resembling progressive climate policy.

    Opportunity seized, objective achieved.

  20. 350 Now says:

    The Rachel Maddow Show had a good segment on GOP Gov Corbett in PA’s plans related to fracking (with Abrahm Lustgarten)on Thurs. 3/10.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/#42021211

    Afterwards the idea came to me that we should lobby MS-NBC to extend her show to either 90 minutes or 2 hours and dedicate the extension exclusively to climate issues. Occasionally she does the science ‘geek’ report so she has the neurons to do this… The clarity with which she and her crack team of reporters and writers provide nightly may be our very best (only?) hope to get correct, substantive climate news to middle america.

    Thoughts?

  21. Edward says:

    Insanity is normal. Why did you expect anything better?