Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe likes to think of himself as an independent thinker. But Inhofe's supposed independence often flies in the face of facts, especially when it comes to the environment.
Indeed, Inhofe's antipathy to environmental science earned him a special place in Chris Mooney's book The Republican War of Science (Basic Books, 2005). Mooney points out that Inhofe has received generous contributions from oil, gas and electric companies (no surprise here), companies "who surely appreciate his repeated challenges to the scientific basis of virtually every environmental problem."
Mooney also notes the hyperbolic language of Tulsa's former mayor. Mooney reports, for example, that Inhofe once called the EPA a "gestapo bureaucracy."
Never one to change his mind in the clear light of evidence, Inhofe is back on the environmental warpath. This time, Inhofe is worked up about President Obama's decision that may allow California and other states to regulate vehicle tailpipe emissions.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, hailed the decision. "It's so refreshing to see that the president understands that science must lead the way," Schwarznegger said.
Inhofe called Obama's decision "environmental thuggery." (No, we are NOT making this up. It's on the front page of today's Tulsa World.)
This being Inhofe, there's no clear logic at work here. In the first place, Obama's decision thus far involves only a review of the Bush Administration's original ban.
Second, the states involved see this as a positive development. Said the Governator: "[This] is the best first step the president can take to combat global warming and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."
How's this "thuggery"? We have no idea. Neither does Sen. Inhofe.