LISTEN: Inhofe: No Chance for Reid Global Warming Bill -- Even Top Dems in the Dark on Details
July 14, 2010
Posted by Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov
Inhofe: No Chance for Reid Global Warming Bill -- Even Top Dems in the Dark on Details
Lars Larson: It’s always a pleasure to welcome back to the program Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma. Senator, it’s good to have you. Thank you.
Sen. Inhofe: Well, it’s nice to be back with you always, Lars.
Lars Larson: You’re the front man who’s going to have to fight cap-and-trade, but I understand you’re saying cap-and-trade is dead.
Sen. Inhofe: You know, I can remember being on your program months ago and saying that, and it’s just as dead today as it was then. They’re in denial right now, Lars. They feel they have to do something for their liberal base. The liberal base can’t figure out why we can’t have the largest tax increase in the history of this country that would accomplish nothing if we have Obama in the White House and they control the House and the Senate. So, we just found out today, this is very current, that Harry Reid is looking at the 26th of this month, just a couple of weeks off, to bring up another energy bill. He’s going to avoid cap-and-trade in terms of…he’s acting like he doesn’t know what it is and it’s not in his vocabulary, but nonetheless, it’s probably the last effort for a cap-and-trade bill. Let me just tell you that they may have as many as 24 votes, but it takes 60. They’re not even close.
Lars Larson: Senator, when you say another energy bill, is Senator Reid going to bring something up that actually would propose to make more energy? Or is this more just about controlling the energy business, because it doesn’t seem like the federal government does much lately that generates energy. They seem to want to control things, but not to make more of it.
Sen. Inhofe: Well, they want to do away with energy. And they’re using the tragedy in the Gulf – let me say it is a tragedy in the Gulf – but using that to advance their own liberal philosophy. I went through the same thing 20 years ago with the Exxon Valdez, and when I went up there and the environmentalists were rejoicing at that time, Lars, saying we’re going to parlay this into stopping drilling and all that. Well that’s exactly what’s happening right now. So they are trying to use this as a way of, first of all, doing away with all fossil fuels, certainly stopping all drilling, all exploration, but using this to try to pass some kind of a cap-and-trade, some kind of a restriction on CO2. And let’s remember, for those listeners who are listening to you right now who don’t agree with us, and I know you have some who are out there, that even Lisa Jackson, Obama’s appointee as the director of the EPA, has stated that if we were to pass any of these cap-and-trade bills, whether it was the McCain-Lieberman bill, the Warner-Lieberman bill, the Waxman-Markey bill, any of those, it would not reduce overall any of the emissions. In fact, it could have the effect of increasing emissions, because it would chase our jobs out of the country, and they would have to go where they could find, you know, find energy. So, it's something that even if they were successful, would not accomplish anything, but it would be the largest tax increase probably in history.
Lars Larson: Well, in fact, I woke up this morning to the news from local utility companies in my neck of the woods saying be prepared, 2011, you’re going to see a rate shock that’s going to be very, very tough. And I thought boy, all of that without cap-and-tax – what would it be if we ended up having some kind of scheme to try to artificially crack down on the amount of carbon dioxide that people produce in their daily lives.
Sen. Inhofe: I’m really glad to hear that utilities are paying attention right now, because the bill he’s talking about doing now – keeping in mind this bill is being done behind closed doors where even the Chairmen of the Energy Committee and of the Finance Committee, who are Democrats, they don’t even know what’s in it – but we do know that he’s talking about only having carbon restrictions on the utility industry. Trying to masquerade it as well, these are the bad guys. But, as you know, that is a straight pass through to you and me and every person who’s listening to us right now. So, it’s not going to work, the votes aren’t there, he has to try to do something to pacify that base – but it’s not going to happen, it’s not going to happen, and I think it’s deplorable that they would use the tragedy in the Gulf to accomplish not just a cap-and-trade but also to stop our ability to produce our own energy in this country and make us more dependent upon Hugo Chavez and the Middle East.
Lars Larson: Senator, I want your perspective on this. So, we’ve got a President now, he appears to have lost the faith of the American people according to polls. He barely got health care through, and it looks as though that’ll either be challenged in the courts or it will be challenged by a new Congress in the next year and defunded or perhaps even repealed depending on how well that goes. Cap-and-trade is good, or is dead. Immigration or amnesty for illegal aliens may be dead – it certainly isn’t passing any time soon. What’s this President going to do for the rest of the year, because I don’t trust that just because he’s been shut down to a large extent politically that he’s going to stop doing the kinds of things that a lot of us find about as un-American as any President has ever engaged in.
Sen. Inhofe: Un-American – that is the right word to use, because that is what it is. Every institution in America that has made our country different from other countries is under attack. I have people coming in all the time – today I had someone from the Farm Bureau, then I’ve had people from the oil industry, and I tell them I know that you think that you’re the only ones under attack in America, but it’s not, it’s the same for the farmers, the oil industry, the health care industry, the insurance industry, the banking industry, everyone is under attack. And I would answer your question this way – we can’t get inside Obama’s head. He’s been…he is one who is very persuasive, very eloquent, he’s always gotten his way. He was able to become President of the United States because of those abilities. And I think in his own mind he thinks well, I’m going to go ahead and win this thing, because I’ve never lost anything. We all remember and there’s not a listener out there who doesn’t remember how they did this health care thing behind closed doors and running it out for a vote. That’s exactly what’s happening right now with border legislation, with cap-and-trade, and it’s not going to work, but again, he’s one who believes that if he does it, it’s going to work.
Lars Larson: The other claim he made, Senator, was that he would unite America, not only with its allies overseas but inside the country and across the aisles in the Congress. And yet, here we’ve got one of the major minority rights organizations in America, the NAACP, I think carrying water for President Obama, condemning Tea Party Americans as a bunch of racists. Now, what do you make of that?
Sen. Inhofe: Well, and the Black Panthers, they’re all out there. I think they forgot, and I would hope that we during the August recess, we have another recess coming up, it was the happiest August recess that I ever spent, because I went around to all these different groups, you know, I was a hero because I was opposing all these things. And what was it that they were offended by? Number 1 – the unsustainable spending, the 1.4 trillion dollar increase in the deficit in one year. We lost that one. Number 2 – a government run health care system. We lost that one. But number 3 and number 4, if you’ll remember a little less than a year ago were cap-and-trade and closing GITMO. And we’re going to win on both of those. I mean, right now, even those who are advocating closing GITMO – that’s not supposed to be the subject tonight – but those who are advocating doing that are now backing away from that as far as they can, particularly Republicans who are in primaries.
Lars Larson: Well, I’m glad to see we’re not probably going to do Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in downtown Manhattan. And I don’t mean any ill to your state, but you know, Senator, I have enough faith in states like Oklahoma – I kind of wish they’d put those terrorists on trial in one of your big cities. Say, send them out to Oklahoma, I think we can scare up a jury that can do justice to a jihadi.
Sen. Inhofe: Well, I think so too. And they’ve overreacted. You’ve seen the recent reports on how they’re coddling these people, and that sickens me. On the other hand, that is a state of the art place, it is the only place in the world that we can put these combatants, and we have to have a place for it. This obsession that the President of the United States still has to bring them into the United States, either for incarceration or for trial, is something that is so unpopular right now that it’s no wonder that his numbers have plummeted. I’ll tell you, when you look around at these races around the country, the people…we’re seeing another 1994 at least.
Lars Larson: Senator Inhofe, I realize I was skeptical the first time you told me it was dead. But to the guy who’s been fighting it the longest from the floor of the Senate, thank you very, very much for beating cap-and-trade. I believe that notices of its death are accurate at this point.
Sen. Inhofe: They are. The funeral is almost upon is.
Lars Larson: Thank you, Senator.