Inhofe: White House improperly coordinating with OFA activists

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe is investigating “apparent coordination” between the Obama administration and Organizing for Action to push the president’s new climate plan.

Inhofe also outlined potential Hatch Act violations.

“There seems to be a coincidental coordination between the White House, the President’s campaign, and the liberal media that is weaving a false and potentially harmful narrative of alarmism,” said Inhofe. “Just as the OFA has called for light to be shed on members of Congress not in lockstep with the President’s agenda, I will work to shed light on the coincidence of coordination in the Obama Administration we continue to see unfold.”

Inhofe sent letters to Curt Spalding, regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, and Nancy Sutley, chairman on the White House Council on Environmental Quality, requesting records between the EPA and the White House and correspondence regarding planning of CEQ events.

“The OFA activities are clearly political in nature, solely targeting Republican members of the House and Senate for campaign purposes,” Inhofe wrote in his letters. “This is alarming because on February 25 of this year … White House Press Secretary Jay Carney claimed that OFA was an independent organization and would not be engaged in political activities. Clearly OFA is now engaging in political activities and it appears as though they are closely coordinating efforts with EPA and CEQ, negating their independence.”

OFA held rallies this week to push President Obama’s new plan to tackle global warming and to lambast members of Congress who question the science behind man-made global warming.

“OFA volunteers will turn out in districts represented by members of Congress who are ready to be a part of the solution and support action on climate change,” the group said of Tuesday’s events. “And in the districts of climate change deniers, OFA will be handing out ‘awards’ to those members for their perseverance in standing strong against the overwhelming judgment of science.”

OFA volunteers delivered “Climate Denier Awards” — unicorn trophies — to members of congress they branded as “climate deniers” on Tuesday. The following day, the White House held environmental advocacy events in Rhode Island and Connecticut, according to Inhofe.

This week, the League of Conservation announced a $2 million ad campaign against congressmen in competitive districts who they have labeled as “anti-science.” The group has targeted Republicans Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado, Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois and Rep. Dan Benishek of Michigan. However, Johnson doesn’t face re-election until 2016.

“The American people are tired of Washington politicians ignoring basic scientific facts and standing in the way of action on climate change,” said LCV president Gene Karpinski. “This ad campaign shows that members of Congress won’t be able to sweep their extreme, anti-science voting records under the rug.”

Even the media has picked up on the global warming fervor, as MSNBC host Chris Hayes is airing an hour-long segment on Friday night on the issue.

“Climate change is a problem without borders; and developing countries are feeling the heat even more than the first world,” Hayes says. “The price for politics as usual is just too high, our timeline too short. … The solution to global warming is just that—global.”

TV columnist Brian Lowry criticized the documentary for “preaching to the choir” and because “not a single dissenting voice is incorporated in any serious way.”

“Nevertheless, the whole point of the documentary is to identify how political pushback and a well-funded fossil-fuel industry are thwarting efforts to accomplish anything productive in addressing the issue,” Lowry writes. “And while the program does feature clips of the usual suspects saying goofy-sounding things… none of them are interviewed specifically for ‘The Politics of Power.'”

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Tags : barack obama james inhofe organizing for action
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