Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is probably best known for bringing a snowball to the Senate floor in a sad, failed attempt to demonstrate that climate change is a myth. (It’s not).
Now that President Trump has proposed cutting the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency — which oversees clean air and water programs — by over 30 percent, Inhofe is excited that the agency will stop “brainwashing” the nation’s children with its science.
“We’re going to take [out] all this stuff that comes out of the EPA that’s brainwashing our kids, that is propaganda, things that aren’t true,” Inhofe said during a CNN interview on Thursday.
The EPA is not in the business of propagating false information. Its rules and regulations are guided by extensive, peer-reviewed scientific findings and come after years — sometimes even decades — of study.
But for as long it has been a matter of partisan politics, Inhofe has been questioning the EPA’s scientific integrity, going his own way on climate and environmental issues. What was once joke, though, is now deadly serious. People who agree with Inhofe’s erroneous analysis of what is happening on this planet are now running the show.
Three of Inhofe’s former staff members have taken positions in energy and environmental agencies under the Trump administration, including the EPA’s new chief of staff. Under the leadership of Inhofe’s staffers and fellow Oklahoman Scott Pruitt, the EPA has already started to refute it’s own science.
So not only will every line item supporting climate action the Trump administration could find in the federal budget be cut (or proposed for cutting), it seems that a concerted propaganda campaign will likely also take shape.
Indeed, the rumblings have been there for years. Inhofe himself has long decried America’s children learning about climate change. Then, back in December, fossil fuel supporters at an “energy and climate” conference called for climate deniers to “take out ads” refuting the EPA’s education efforts.
The EPA’s environmental education program was not specifically named in Trump’s skinny budget, but if it goes the way of the $115 million Office of Education at NASA, expect it to be cut when the full budget arrives next month.