Sen. Jim Inhofe tells Newsmax that the Obama administration is “trying to kill oil and gas” by refusing to allow the United States to exploit its abundant natural resources in an effort to drive the country toward green energy.
The Oklahoma Republican also says that calls for tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are a “copout” to divert attention from that refusal. And he asserts that there is “no doubt in anyone’s mind” that Republicans will take control of the Senate in 2012.
Sen. Inhofe is the Ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a steadfast critic of manmade global warming alarmists. His new book “The Hoax” is due out in August.
Despite the soaring price of gasoline resulting from Middle East unrest, the Obama administration remains resolved to curtail new offshore oil drilling.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Inhofe was asked about the administration’s policy.
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“This administration admittedly is trying to kill oil and gas. It’s just mind-boggling,” Inhofe declares.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu, "speaking on behalf of the president, said somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe — I checked today and it’s $7.80 a gallon — so we won’t buy as much and then all this wonderful green energy is going to come in.
“We have more recoverable reserves in oil, gas and coal than any nation in the world. We have enough natural gas to run our country for 110 years. The problem is, the liberals, the Democrats won’t allow us to exploit our own resources. They are intentionally stopping us from doing it.
“This administration is admittedly trying to raise the price of gas so they can accomplish their green goals.
“What really bugs me is when I hear the John Kerrys or the Barbara Boxers saying we’ve got to develop green energy so we can stop our dependence on the Middle East. We could stop our dependence on the Middle East for our energy if we just develop our own resources here.
“To have them admit that they’re trying to raise the price of gas — this is no time for them to be doing that. And I hope people don’t forget that.”
Some in Washington are saying the United States should release some of the oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help stabilize gasoline prices.
Asked whether he favors the release, Inhofe responds: “No. People who are not willing to open up our own exploration and our own production, they can say that. But the number of barrels that would be released would be a fraction of what it would be if we could open up our exploration in the Gulf, as well as in Alaska and the western part of the United States. So that’s a copout.
“It’s something you could do and it would have a short surge but it would be minuscule compared to our recoverable reserves and wouldn’t have any effect on prices.”
Inhofe discussed legislation he has introduced along with Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from imposing climate change regulations.
“They tried to pass the law for cap and trade,” he tells Newsmax.
“It would cost the average family in Oklahoma who files a tax return over $3,000 a year.
“And you don’t get anything for it because by their own admission if we were to stop all CO2 emissions in the United States, it wouldn’t reduce overall worldwide emissions because it would just chase our jobs to foreign countries.
“But we were successful. We stopped it. Now the Obama administration, along with the majority in the Senate, are trying to do with regulation what they could not do with legislation.
“What Fred Upton and I are trying to do would be to take from the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency their ability to regulate greenhouse gases. If we’re successful, that would be stopping them from passing what would be comparable to the largest tax increase in history.”
Inhofe says he supports Republican efforts to strip funding from the EPA.
“In the House they want to do that. In the Senate we’re not quite there yet.
“But they have a majority of only three. Here’s where they’re in trouble.
"There are 23 Democratic senators up for re-election in the coming election. Of those I call 11 endangered species. Already several have retired because they know they‘re not going to be able to win.
“There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Republican are going to take control of the United States Senate in the next election. Therefore, a lot of these Democrats who would normally vote the Democratic line are going to be coming over and supporting me.”
Inhofe has been outspoken in his calls for the United States to keep the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay open. President Obama has now reversed course and says he will keep Gitmo open and resume terrorist trials there.
“It’s nice to win one now and then,” Inhofe says.
“What the president was going to do is find some 17 places in the United States to incarcerate these terrorists. The reason you don’t want to do that is that they are not criminals. They are the ones whose job it is to train people to become terrorists. And we didn’t want those cells in the United States.
“Secondly, they should not be entitled to the privileges that the citizens of the United States are entitled to.”
Inhofe says he supports enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, but only if our allies join the effort because the American military is “strained.”
“I’m all for it if the other countries would join in,” he adds. “But we can’t afford to use up all of our assets in that matter.”
Inhofe’s book “The Hoax,” due for publication in August, focuses on what he calls the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people — that catastrophic global warming is the result of manmade gases.
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