According to the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, Inhofe was a little hard to understand at yesterday's Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on clean energy and climate legislation. Seems he was too distracted by his fellow Republicans' decisions to finally acknowledge the reality of climate change science to formulate questions of his own for the witnesses.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was in talks with Democrats over a compromise bill -- the traitor! And as Inhofe listened, fellow Republicans on the committee -- turncoats! -- made it clear that they no longer share, if they ever did, Inhofe's view that man-made global warming is the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."Graham and Alexander! Say it ain't so! Next, you'll be telling me the Deniers lost Vitter too!
"Eleven academies in industrialized countries say that climate change is real; humans have caused most of the recent warming," admitted Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). "If fire chiefs of the same reputation told me my house was about to burn down, I'd buy some fire insurance."
An oil-state senator, David Vitter (R-La), said that he, too, wants to "get us beyond high-carbon fuels" and "focus on conservation, nuclear, natural gas and new technologies like electric cars." And an industrial-state senator, George Voinovich (R-Ohio), acknowledged that climate change "is a serious and complex issue that deserves our full attention."Predictably, this really caused Inhofe to blow a gasket -- although not as much as having to listen to the bill's co-sponsor, Sen. John Kerry.
Inhofe molested the majority by having committee staffers put up on the dais a series of 3-by-5-foot posters with messages such as "Congressional Budget Chief Says Climate Bill Would Cost Jobs" and "U.S. Unemployment High/Why Kill More Jobs With Cap & Trade?" But this failed to cool Inhofe's temper, and by the time his turn came to question the administration witnesses, Inhofe was so steamed that he used his entire five minutes to vent.We're wondering the same thing Milbank is right about now: whether Inhofe feels lonely as the last passenger on the Denierism train.
He described the Democrats' proposal as "the largest tax increase in -- in history!" Agitated, his utterances disjointed, Inhofe went on: "Now, I also was -- was kind of -- I don't want any of the media to think just because I had to sit here and listen to our good friend Senator Kerry for 28 minutes, that I don't have responses to everything he said."
Nobody doubted that Inhofe had a response. The doubt was whether the response would make any sense.