Is Senator Inhofe really looking out for Oklahoma?

(Credit: New York Times)

This blog post takes a detour from Texas issues and covers a regional issue in our neighbor state, Oklahoma.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to understand the disconnect between Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe and the threat of rising temperatures to his own constituents. Last year, Oklahoma endured the hottest summer ever recorded in U.S. history. According to the National Climatic Data Center, Oklahoma’s average temperature last summer was 86.9 degrees.

The previous record for the hottest summer was set in the midst of the Dust Bowl, again in Oklahoma. The Dust Bowl literally blew Oklahoma’s farmers off their land, along with their topsoil. No one wants a repeat of that.

What’s alarming is that the previous record of 85.2 degrees, set in Oklahoma in 1934, was almost two degrees cooler than summer 2011!

A permanent rise of two degrees, according to climate experts, is enough to turn America’s heartland into desert. From Montana to Texas, a sustained increase of two degrees would turn the wheat and corn fields of the West and Midwest to dust. In Oklahoma alone, more than 77,000 family farms provide wheat, cotton, meat, poultry, dairy products and jobs that will all go away if the summer heat of 2011 proves to be the norm rather than the anomaly.

Meanwhile, Senator Inhofe continues his attempts to undermine EPA standards that will help reduce rising greenhouse gas emissions. Senator Inhofe has a history of attacking climate change, science, and clean air standards.

But last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a unanimous opinion affirming EPA’s protective carbon pollution standards issued under the Clean Air Act. The court thoroughly rebuked those, like Inhofe, who attack science. The court confirmed EPA’s analysis that global warming is caused by humans and is a public health threat, saying “[t]his is how science works. EPA is not required to re-prove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question.”

Natural gas prices are very low. One thing that may cause prices to rise is increased demand for gas to replace dirty coal. Inexplicably, Senator Inhofe and royalty owners support out of state coal businesses to the detriment of Oklahoma natural gas companies. Rather than encourage jobs in his state, the Senator chooses to protect coal jobs in West Virginia and Wyoming. As Oklahomans suffer from record heat, watch their energy bills rise and see their crops die, they should thank Senator Inhofe for refusing to do anything to improve the outlook for future summers in the Sooner State.

This entry was posted in Air Pollution, Climate Change, Coal, Environmental Protection Agency, GHGs, Natural gas. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted July 12, 2012 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    It is doubtful that Sen. Inhofe is looking out for the people of Oklahoma. Instead, Sen. Inhofe is looking out for the corporations that pad his campaign account. Several years ago, the senator co-sponsored a bill that targets individuals exercising their free speech rights against animal enterprises. Why? Well, because these very same animal enterprises are the ones supporting the senator’s career. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act ensures that pharmaceutical companies get special treatment when citizens ask for accountability. Now, the free speech rights of activists are chilled because a bill was passed by just a handful of members in the House under a suspension of the rules. This is directly at odds with the wishes of Oklahomans, who want accountability and fairness in both business practices and the votes of their representatives. So it should be no surprise that the Senator is not looking out for the residents of Oklahoma; they probably have not donated enough to his campaign yet.

  2. Posted February 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    Very good. I agree.

  3. Posted March 10, 2013 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

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