Inhofe’s New Book: I Hate Regulation, Therefore I Deny Climate Science

Sen. Jim Inhofe: Big Oil's MVP
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) is refreshingly candid in his new book, The Greatest Hoax, admitting that he only fights climate science because he hates climate solutions. As E&E News’ Jean Chemnick recounts(sub. req.), Inhofe traces his anti-regulatory crusade to a Tulsa worker’s attempt to make his home safer:

When the city engineer refused to budge on Inhofe’s plan to move the fire escape on his mansion, it fueled his political ambitions.

“So I told him I was going to run for mayor and fire him,” he said. “And I ran for mayor and I fired him.”

Published by right-leaning WND Books, a division of WorldNetDaily, the book establishes Inhofe as an opponent of environmental regulations of all stripes long before 2003, when he famously told the Senate that climate change was “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

It’s odd to see Sen. Inhofe’s book published by such an extremist organization as WND Books, featured alongside such esteemed authors as … Jack Abramoff, whose book is part of his efforts to pay restitution to his victims.

But back to Sen. Inhofe. It’s a strange case to make and a completely upside down way to make it – like saying since you don’t like paying taxes to fund the fire department, you’re now on a crusade to prove fire doesn’t exist:

Joe Mendelson, director of global warming policy at the National Wildlife Federation, said Inhofe’s admission that he is against regulation in almost every instance suggests that he arrived at his scientific skepticism through something other than an impartial look at the facts.

“He sort of comes at it from ‘I am an anti-regulatory person, and therefore if there is something out there that may require a government response to address, I’m either going to ignore it or poke holes in the science so I don’t have to get the regulation,'” he said.

Mendelson also disagreed with Inhofe that environmental regulation threatens personal freedom.

The impacts of the pollution actually do impede our freedom,” he said. “Our freedom to breath healthy air, our freedom to ensure that our family or our property is actually safeguarded from harm.”

Even though Sen. Inhofe delights in bashing high-profile climate activists, from Al Gore to Leonardo DiCaprio, he has another confession: Being a climate denier makes Sen. Inhofe a celebrity too, and he loves every minute of it:

“I was only in Copenhagen for three hours, but they were the most exhilarating three hours of my political life,” he writes. […]

“I know it sounds strange to say it, but the experience was really quite enjoyable,” he writes. “I will always remember all those people in the room — hundreds of them — and all the cameras. And they all had one thing in common: they all hated me.”

Sen. Inhofe’s story reminded me of the Esquire Copenhagen profile of his former press secretary, Marc Morano, and how Morano’s fight for “freedom” finances his lavish lifestyle.