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Transcript of Inhofe CNN American Morning Interview
January 31, 2007

Posted by Matt Dempsey matthew_dempsey@epw.senate.gov (11:13am ET)

Following interviews on Fox and Friends (watch:  Senator Jim Inhofe - Weather Wars on Fox & Friends ),Sean Hannity's radio show, (listen: Senator Inhofe on Hannity Radio Show Discussing Global Warming ), and the Glenn Beck Show last night (read: transcript ) Senator Inhofe appeared this morning on CNN's American Morning program interviewed by Miles O'Brien. We will have additional information to follow -including video - but we have posted the transcript below.

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Interview on CNN’s American Morning Jan 31, 2007
Transcript provided by CNN
 
 
M. O'BRIEN: And now "Melting Point." We begin our special ongoing focus on global warming, and we begin with a shift in the political climate.
 
Just listen to the president in the State of the Union speech last week.
 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
 
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America's on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. And these technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.
 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
 
M. O'BRIEN: That was a first. And now the White House is promising action on global warming. We wonder what one of the leading contrarians on the issue is thinking, and so we invited him on the program. He joins us now from Capitol Hill, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma. He is the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
 
Senator, good to have you back on the program.
 
SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: Hey, Miles. The last time I was on the program I was the chairman. Not anymore. M. O'BRIEN: I know. Things change. Things change in an instant.
 
INHOFE: Yes, but they change back, too. Remember that.
 
M. O'BRIEN: That is true, too. That is very true. And we're there to watch it every step of the way.
 
Let's talk about the science, first. We've got a big report coming out, this United Nations report, 2,500 of the world's leading scientists. It's being called a smoking gun report with a link between humans and global warming.
 
Let's listen to what one of the leading scientists has to say about it.
 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
 
JAMES HANSEN, DIR., GODDARD INST. FOR SPACE STUDIES: The human link is crystal clear. There is no question, the increase from 280 to 380 parts per million in CO2 is due to the burning of fossil fuels.
 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
 
M. O'BRIEN: That's James Hansen, one of the leading climate scientists. He says it's crystal clear.
 
What do you say?
 
INHOFE: I'd say that that's James Hansen, who is paid $250,000 by the Heinz Foundation. I think he'd say almost anything you ask him to say.
 
M. O'BRIEN: He's -- Senator, he's speaking for 2,500 of the world's leading scientists.
 
INHOFE: Oh. Then why is he the guy speaking? Let me tell you what you're going to get. You're wrong in this respect, Miles.
 
What you're going to get on Friday is not the fourth assessment of the IPCC. You're going to get the summary for policymakers.
 
Now, you won't get the report from scientists probably until May or June. But this summary is all you're going to look at. You're never going to talk about anything else.
 
And that's -- and let me just read to you to show you that I'm right on this thing. On page four, it says, "Changes in scientific work to ensure consistency with the summary for policymakers will ensure."
 
These are politicians, these aren't scientists.
 
M. O'BRIEN: No, no, no. They are scientists, sir. It's 2,500...
 
(CROSSTALK)
 
INHOFE: Thee policymakers? The policymakers -- that's a summary, Miles.
 
M. O'BRIEN: But this report, this summary, which is for policymakers, is drafted by scientists. They're meeting in Paris right now, and these are leading scientists who make these claims and now say there is a certainty of this human connection.
 
Do you still reject that certainty?
 
INHOFE: Oh, definitely. I was on a program yesterday with Art Robinson. He was one of the scientists in the Oregon petition, 17,800 scientists, that said that, yes, we understand that we are going through a warming period, but it's not due to manmade gases. And this is 10 years after they came out with their report, and nobody ever talks about that.
 
The recent findings up in Canada, when 60 scientists told Prime Minister Harper, if we had known 10 years ago what we know today about science, we would never have asked you to sign on to the Kyoto. So...
 
(CROSSTALK)
 
M. O'BRIEN: Right. There were many scientists who unwittingly became a part of that.
 
Let's move on, though. Let's talk a little bit about...
 
INHOFE: Well, no. No, we can't move on, because if you're talking about the science, the science is not settled.
 
Let's move on.
 
M. O'BRIEN: All right. Let's move on now. Let's talk about the debate a little bit.
 
It's interesting to see how corporations are acting right now. I know you saw this past week, right before the State of the Union Address, some real corporate heavyweights -- General Electric, Alcoa, British Petroleum, Duke Power, one of the -- I think it's the number three or four coal user in the country -- all signing on and publicly stating that they would like to accept, would prefer that there be caps on emissions of these climate-changing gases.
 
Let's listen to what the head of Duke Power had to say about it.
 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
 
JIM ROGERS, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, DUKE ENERGY: Our businesses and the national economy can grow, prosper, and compete successfully in a greenhouse gas-constrained world.
 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
 
M. O'BRIEN: It sounds like corporate America is ready to accept caps.
 
INHOFE: Hey, let me work into that -- it just takes me a second here -- my favorite quote of all the people who were on the side of saying manmade gas caused global warming was a socialist in France. He's a geophysicist named Claude Allegre (ph).
 
He's a member of both the French and American Academy of Sciences. He says, "The cause of global warming is unknown. The proponents of manmade catastrophic global warming are being motivated by" -- and listen to this, Miles -- "money."
 
Now, who do you think these guys are in corporate America? I would direct anyone who thinks that this is coming from their heart to read last Friday's "Wall Street Journal," where they take each of the corporations you just mentioned and talked about how they can make money if we have to do away with coal gasification.
 
Coal is responsible for over 50 percent of our energy in America. These companies have nuclear, they have hydroelectric, they have wind, they have -- and it's to their financial advantage to do away with it. Now who is paying for this?
 
M. O'BRIEN: Well, let's talk about that. That's an interesting point, because what you often hear -- and I've heard you say it, too -- that in putting these caps on, it would hurt the economy. What you're saying is, there's a good business here. These cooperation's can make some money by accepting these caps and developing new technologies.
 
Why not go that route?
 
INHOFE: Well, if you go that route -- if you do away with 50 percent of our electricity in America, then those individuals who are generating less electricity by using some other means are going to jump in there and try to do it. The cost to the American people, according to the Wharton School of Economics, the Wharton econometrics survey, would be astronomical. And these people all have money that they can make.
 
Sure, if I were on the board of directors of GE, that's making solar equipment and wind turbines, I'd probably say, let's jump on this bandwagon and do away with coal-generated electricity. We'll make a fortune.
 
M. O'BRIEN: All right. Let's talk a little bit about what's going on in the halls of Congress right now.
 
Yesterday, the committee -- and now you're the ranking member of it -- sort of took, if you will, the temperature of the Senate, heard from some senators on this issue, and one of them you heard from was Senator John McCain. He spoke to me the day after the State of the Union.
 
Let's see what he's saying right now about this.
 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: This is one of the serious issues of our -- of the history of humanity. We've got to start reducing these greenhouse gas emissions before our planet is inalterably heated. And the consequences of that are catastrophic.
 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
 
M. O'BRIEN: All right. The senator is expressing some sentiment that is out there. You've got Democrats in control of both sides of Congress right now. It seems very likely there will be some legislation making its way, maybe by this summer.
 
The question to you, sir, is, if that happens, will you filibuster?
 
INHOFE: You know, I'm not sure about filibustering. I don't know what's going to happen with this. I would say this: The last time we had the McCain bill -- and I love John McCain, but Miles, you have to keep in mind, I've said before -- not on your program -- I belong to the most exclusive club in Washington. That is the United States senators who are not running for president. So I don't have any other agenda other than trying to get to the truth.
 
Now, the truth now is that we have changed the committee structure. It's not me, it's Barbara Boxer who is running the Environment of Public Works Committee. She had the hearing yesterday.
 
I don't know whether you got my part of the hearing or not. I had 12 minutes to speak, and I did. Several other members did also.
 
But, you know, let's look at it and see. The last time the McCain bill was up, we defeated it, 60-38. It wasn't close, 60-38.
 
M. O'BRIEN: All right.
 
INHOFE: But because of what it would cost the people in America, the people that are watching this today...
 
M. O'BRIEN: You just got through saying there is money to be made in this, so there is an inconsistency there.
 
Finally, sir, you're a very religious man. I know that. And I...
 
INHOFE: A what? I'm sorry?
 
M. O'BRIEN: You're a religious man. And I have noted with great interest on that same week that corporate America was coming forward, evangelicals coming forward saying something has to be done.
 
INHOFE: Not at all. Not at all true.
 
M. O'BRIEN: Listen to a leading evangelical for just a moment.
 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
 
REV. RICHARD CIZIK, VP FOR GOVT. AFFAIRS, NATIONAL ASSOC. OF EVANGELICALS: I think it's a fundamental issue here, a defining public policy issue which says for scientists it's the Earth. For evangelicals, it's the creation. And we have a biblical duty as evangelical Christians. That comes straight from the bible.
 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
 
M. O'BRIEN: What do you say to that, Senator?
 
INHOFE: One of the problems, there's one individual. His name is Richard Cizik...
 
M. O'BRIEN: That was him. That was him.
 
INHOFE: I know that. He's the guy that's out there -- and you talk about making money. There's a guy that's on the cutting edge, being sponsored by all these environmentalist groups to try to break into the National Association of Evangelicals.
 
They have rejected him and what he has said. He's speaking on his own, not for evangelicals.
 
M. O'BRIEN: Oklahoma senator Jim Inhofe.
 
Always a pleasure. Thanks for dropping by.
 
INHOFE: Thank you, Miles.
 
M. O'BRIEN: Soledad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






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