Saturday, August 05, 2006

Inhofe Fights Against Quality Air

Looks like James Inhofe is back on his crusade against clean air. Recently it was reported that EPA investigators took a tour of oil and gas facilities near Denver, CO, armed with infrared cameras in order to detect pollution leaking from the sites.

Well Mr. Environment was none too happy with that. Better methods of collecting data on harmful air emissions? Not under his watch! Inhofe promptly sent a letter to the EPA administrator in Denver, saying the agency’s actions “give rise to concern” and threaten the “trust” between regulators and industry. Right, wouldn’t want to upset the industry. As Grist put it, “Yes, if the regulators go, you know, investigating and regulating and whatnot, how will the industry ever trust them again?”

Essentially, James Inhofe doesn’t want the EPA to do its job, which includes detecting these dangerous emissions and figuring out ways to limit their presence in the atmosphere. But, of course, that wouldn’t make his oil and gas donors very happy, now would it? After all, since 2001, Inhofe has received $311,208 from oil and gas companies.

None of this should come as a surprise, however. This is far from the first time Inhofe has bad-mouthed the EPA. In 2000, he called the agency’s bid to enact new pollution rules a “vulgar abuse of power and blatant disregard for the legislative branch of government.” (Tulsa World, 7/15/00) Then, in 2003, he it an agency of “bureaucrats inflicting terror” on small business-owners and he saw the agency as nothing more as “environmental extremists.” (USA Today, 2/17/03)

Fortunately for the planet, the EPA is pushing back on Inhofe’s craziness this time around. According to the Rocky Mountain News, Denver officials are standing by their decision to use the cameras and that they were needed to determine the extent and source of the emissions. Not to mention that Denver is in danger of violating air quality standards.

But none of this matters to James Inhofe. After all, its just emissions, right?


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