Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe tells Newsmax that the climategate scandal is the “clincher” that kills once and for all the cap-and-trade proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Inhofe, the senior Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, also said Democrats are “flat-out lying” and doing a “great disservice” to the rest of world by claiming Congress will take major steps to curb emissions.
And he predicted that Republicans will take over the Senate in the 2010 elections.
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Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella asked Inhofe about his plans to travel to the 192-nation climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, next week to tell participants that a U.S. government proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 has little support in the Senate.
“My concern was that we knew that Barbara Boxer and John Kerry and that whole crowd was going to go,” he said.
“And I think it’s a great disservice to the other 191 countries to tell them something that isn’t true, to tell them that we’re going to pass a cap-and-trade or we’re going to do something on emissions reduction.
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“I understand quite frankly that the president is going to commit to a 17 percent reduction in C02 emissions by 2020. I want to make sure that I can talk after him and say that isn’t true, we’re not going to do it.
“I think there’s so much flat out lying going on right now in terms of where we are in this country.”
The Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that scientific evidence shows greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, threaten public health and should be reduced.
“We have the situation that’s come up in terms of the [EPA’s] endangerment finding, which says we will treat CO2 as a pollutant,” Inhofe said.
“The finding is now going to come back to the federal register. When it appears there, that means there will be a lawsuit that will be filed.
“Let me tell you why that is, in my opinion. Lisa Jackson is the administrator of the EPA. When she was before our committee, I had asked her to reconfirm that the science that is going to be used, if they should come up with an endangerment finding, is going to be that of the [U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change]. She said yes, that’s true. We also had that from her in a letter, in writing.
“Then of course since climategate came out, the IPCC has been totally discredited.”
Climategate erupted when e-mails leaked from climate scientists showed that some researchers suppressed data and stifled dissent on global warming.
“So what they’ll be doing is saying, we have an endangerment finding and it’s based on the science at IPCC,” the senator said.
“I would imagine that the courts would agree with that.”
Martella asked if, given the endangerment finding, Obama now has the power to unilaterally commit the United States to an international global warming treaty in Copenhagen, thereby circumventing Congress.
“He definitely does not,” Inhofe declared.
“They can come out with a declaration, as they have, in terms of the endangerment finding, but that could be tied up in court for five years — certainly beyond the 2010 election when I think we’re going to take over anyway.
“There’s another thing to it: He didn’t want to do it with an endangerment finding for a very good reason. He wanted us to pass something like a cap-and-trade bill so that when the economy falls apart two or three years from now, he can say, I didn’t do that, Congress did.
“Now he can’t say that because it’s an endangerment finding, which is the executive [branch] — it’s him who did it. The best thing for him is if there are lawsuits and they stall this thing. He has then pacified the left and doesn’t have to live with the consequences.”
Asked if he plans to seek a U.S. investigation into climategate, Inhofe said:
“I wanted to do it through the committee of jurisdiction, which is Environment and Public Works. That is unfortunately chaired by Barbara Boxer, who will not do it.
“The biggest sham is that the United Nations now says they are going to investigate. Wait a minute. The IPCC that they’d be investigating, that’s the United Nations. So the United Nations will investigate the United Nations.
“We sent a letter to the United Nations saying we want an independent investigation, not the U.N. investigating themselves.
“Keep in mind that the U.K., which has been very strong on the other side of this issue, now has characterized this as probably one of the greatest science scandals of our generation.
“I said before that they don’t have the votes to pass cap-and-trade, and they didn’t even before climategate. But with climategate, that’s the clincher.”
Inhofe insisted there won’t be a “fair investigation” into climategate in the U.S. because Congress and the White House are controlled by Democrats, but cap-and-trade is doomed anyway.
“They’re in denial right now,” he said. “They have to know it’s over but they just cannot believe it.
“We have people that have had 15 years of their lives tied up in this thing, hoping and praying that the world was going to come to an end, and now they find out they’re not going to be able to pass this bill.”
Inhofe said cap-and-trade now has “not a prayer” of passing in the Senate.
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