OKLAHOMA CITY - Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said Wednesday he plans to travel to a 192-nation climate conference in Europe 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 presentation will be the unique one," said Inhofe, a climate change skeptic who is investigating allegations that some scientists manipulated data to provide proof of global warming. "They're not even close on votes in the United States Senate."
Inhofe, the senior Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, also said he plans to ask for an independent investigation into e-mails leaked from climate scientists that Inhofe said provide evidence that some researchers suppressed data and stifled dissent on global warming.
"They're cooking the science," Inhofe said. "The same things that came out on these e-mails is what I said four years ago."
The Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that scientific evidence shows greenhouse gases threaten public health and that the pollutants should be reduced. The announcement coincided with the opening of an international conference on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark, sponsored by the United Nations.
Inhofe said he plans to travel to the conference next week and inform participants that an overwhelming number of U.S. senators are opposed to new emission standards proposed by the EPA. Complying with the standards would cost billions of dollars and would lead to higher utility costs and job losses, he said.
"No consensus will come out of Copenhagen," Inhofe said. Inhofe believes emissions, mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, have little effect on the climate and that any gradual change is the result of natural climate cycles.
Inhofe will be accompanied by a self-described "truth squad" of other conservative Republicans senators who reject climate change science including John Barrasso of Wyoming and Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, spokesman Matt Dempsey said. They will be at the conference at about the same time President Barack Obama plans to attend, Dempsey said.
He said it is the second time Inhofe has attended a global climate conference sponsored by the U.N. His first was in 2003 in Milan, Italy.
Inhofe said the leaked e-mails provide evidence that science blaming global warming on human activity is flawed and should be re-examined.
"Everything that I've been talking about for 10 years is now happening," Inhofe said. "All of these things that we're talking about now are documented. They just don't have a case."
In a series of letters, Inhofe has asked scientists, laboratories and officials at various government agencies to hold on to documents and records they have received from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, the source of the e-mail exchanges.
"The documents and e-mails outline a disturbing trend of actions, which, at the least, imply activity to create a false impression of the certainty of climate change science," a Nov. 30 letter from Inhofe to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California says.