Is Inhofe "Cool"?

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     Catching up on items that should not have gone unnoticed.… On March 2, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Freedom Action honored Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, with what they called the “Coolest Head Award,” for keeping his wits and his cool amidst all the hot air coming from global warming alarmists. Back in 2003, when Global Warming Enthusiasm was on the march as almost an official religion of the cognoscenti, Sen. Inhofe took over the Environment and Public Works Committee and started what seemed like a very lonely, one-man, rear-guard action against cap-and-trade legislation that was expected to eventually make it into law with all the inevitability as the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation that had enjoyed similar cachet with “all the right people.” Marshalling actual facts and cogent arguments, what he accomplished, according to CEI’s statement, was that “he won every debate and every vote in the Senate on cap-and-trade legislation—on the Lieberman-McCain bill in 2003; on the McCain-Lieberman bill in 2005; and on the Lieberman-Warner bill in 2008.  In the 111th Congress, Senator Inhofe’s opposition was so effective that Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer failed even to bring their cap-and-trade bill to the floor for a vote.”

            Also from the CEI release: “There are three remarkable aspects of Senator Inhofe’s steadfast opposition.  First, he became familiar with the range of climate science to a degree beyond any other Member of Congress.  Second, because he understood that the scientific case for global warming alarmism was incredibly weak, he remained unalterably opposed to all energy-rationing policies and confident that cap-and-trade could be defeated even after many of his conservative colleagues decided that some form of emissions controls were inevitable.  While his conservative colleagues began to trim their rhetoric and look for compromise, Senator Inhofe defiantly repeated that global warming alarmism was the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.  Third, Senator Inhofe pursued his opposition to cap-and-trade despite in the face of incredible amounts of abuse and far beyond his own political self interest.  To stick your neck out in the way Senator Inhofe has done is a rare thing in politics.”

            Google Sen. Inhofe’s name and one comes up with all sorts of media descriptions of him as a “brazen” “denier” who “abuses climate science.” Witness an American Prospect opinion piece in 2005 that claimed “when it comes to climate change, Inhofe doesn’t seem to care whether he has a sound argument to make, so long as he has something contrary to say that takes at least some effort to deconstruct.”

            Well, the science is not so certain now. Sen. Inhofe’s criticisms, for good reason, aren’t so lonely anymore, and they are carrying the day politically. Some would say that’s pretty cool.

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About the Author
Quin Hillyer

Quin Hillyer

Quin Hillyer, a senior editorial writer for The Washington Times and a senior editor for the American Spectator magazine, has won awards for journalistic excellence at the local, state, regional and national levels. His work has been featured in more than 50 publications, including the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, the San Francisco Chronicle, Investor's Business ...

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