Friday, August 04, 2006

Crazy James Inhofe Holds Security Bill Hostage

Since 2003, lawmakers in the House and Senate have been trying to enhance the security around America’s chemical facilities. And for those three years, the American people have been waiting for the GOP majority to do something about the approximately 700 sites around the country containing stockpiles of toxic chemicals that terrorist could turn into weapons.

Finally, in June, the Senate Homeland Security Committee approved a bill that would allow the Homeland Security Department to regulate security standards at these chemical sites. However, just days later, Sen. James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee placed a hold on the bill, “for the twin purposes of helping corporate friends and skewering environmental foes.” (Star Tribune, 7/24/06)

Inhofe initially blocked the bill because he was afraid it would allow DHS to mandate safer technology – commonly referred to as inherently safer technology, or IST. (Environment and Energy Daily, 7/24/06) That’s right, Inhofe is afraid of mandating safer technology. Turns out, no IST requirements are actually contained in the bill. An IST proposal was actually rejected in the Homeland Security Committee. (Grist, 7/13/06)

Now, left with no IST argument, the ever environment-loving Inhofe has turned his attention to the water provisions in the bill. Inhofe is now attempting block the bill because it would allow DHS to regulate drinking water and wastewater facilities that use chemicals. (GovExec, 8/1/06) One more time: Inhofe does not want to regulate your drinking water. Better stock up on those Britas!

This is just the latest in a string of incidents involving James Inhofe’s assault on environmental regulations. Inhofe is one of the staunchest opponents of global warming science. In fact, he thinks it is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” (Environment and Energy Daily, 4/4/06) When his committee held hearings on the existence of global warming, Inhofe invited as star witness science fiction writer Michael Crichton, whose credibility is apparently proven by his book on the nonexistence of global warming, State of Fear. The book has actually been accused of distorting research and bending scientific facts by a majority of top climate scientists. (Saint Paul Pioneer Press, 1/28/05)

As a tribute to James Inhofe’s ever-amusing senility, we’ve compiled a top five list of the craziest things Inhofe has ever said or done:

Crazy Inhofe Top Five

  1. Inhofe outraged federal employees on the day of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building by stating on CNN that there probably weren't very many casualties because federal employees were probably “playing hooky”. FYI, he’s the senior senator from Oklahoma (Hotline, 10/5/95)
  2. Inhofe has referred to the Environmental Protection Agency as a “Gestapo Bureaucracy.” (US Newswire, 11/13/02)
  3. During the Vieques bombing debate, Inhofe called Puerto Rican protesters “ungrateful, myopic, and misinformed,” and later characterized the protesters as “Hollywood publicity-seekers or frustrated New York City activists.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7/3/01)
  4. Inhofe once compared a gay business executive who had been nominated to an ambassadorship by President Bill Clinton to David Duke, a onetime Ku Klux Klan leader. (New York Times, 4/23/03)
  5. Inhofe also lied about the year he graduated from the University of Tulsa. For 35 years in political biographies, announcements, and the like, Inhofe claimed he had graduated in 1959. However, in 1994, a University Registrar revealed that he had actually attained his degree 14 years later, in 1973. (Daily Oklahoman, 11/17/94)


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