WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. James Inhofe has made a lot of enemies over the years because of skeptical views on man-made global warming, but that doesn’t bother him. He says skeptics are winning the debate.
“We are winning,” Inhofe said of the political and scientific battle on global warming.
“People aren’t concerned about it, that’s why you have all the Tom Steyers,” Inhofe said, referring to the San Francisco billionaire who has spent millions backing Democrats and environmental campaigns.
Inhofe made his remarks at the 10th International Conference on Climate Change hosted by the Heartland Institute. The conservative group presented Inhofe with an award for standing up to political pressure to from both sides of the aisle to give the federal government the power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.
“They’ve lost the battle on getting legislation passed,” Inhofe said, adding that what Democrats could not legislatively complete the Obama administration is now doing through regulatory fiat.
The EPA is on the verge of finalizing regulations that would limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by forcing states to adopt measures to cut emissions from the energy sector. Inhofe is one of regulation’s primary opponents. The senator has promised to hold hearings on the EPA’s so-called “Clean Power Plan” and explore options for Congress to block the rule.
Inhofe’s battle against CO2 regulations may be tougher than he imagined, despite Americans’ ambivalence on the issue. The Obama administration has recently announced plans to increase its regulatory reach and write new rules governing emissions from heavy trucks and commercial airplanes.
The White House is also working hard to secure a global agreement on CO2 emission reductions at the upcoming United Nations conference in Paris. Administration officials have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to build support in the international community for CO2 cuts. Last year, the White House secured a promise from China to peak emissions by 2030.
“This should have all ended when Climategate came,” Inhofe told conference goers, referring to a scandal that emerged from leaked emails suggesting climate scientists were fiddling with the temperature data to inflate the warming trend across the globe.
“These are old arguments that have been refuted again and again,” he said.
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