Wayne Trotter 26.JUN.09
Passing President Obama’s “cap and trade” energy program would cost the average Oklahoma family $3,200 a year, Sen. Jim Inhofe said Friday, but he’s confident the measure will be killed in the Senate no matter what happens in the House of Representatives.
The Tulsa Republican, a longtime critic of what he considers “this hoax called global warming,” made his latest statements during a morning stop in Shawnee while House members in Washington were preparing to vote on the controversial issue.
“Between the years of 1998 and 2005, I was the only member of the United States Senate who would take on what I call ‘the Hollywood elitists’ and the United Nations on this hoax called global warming and I went through seven years of purgatory on that issue.
“But now I’ve been redeemed and the vast majority of the scientific community has now said Inhofe’s right and the United Nations is wrong and those individuals … have now said ‘no, the science is not there and these are natural cycles.”
At the time of the interview Friday morning, he said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was only two votes short of winning and predicted that if she brought the question up for a vote, it would indicate she had found them. Late Friday, the bill was approved in the House on a 219-212 vote.
“It doesn’t matter,” he declared flatly, “because we’ll kill it in the Senate anyway.”
Asked if he was confident that would be the case, Oklahoma’s senior senator said he was “absolutely certain.” He noted that it would take 60 votes to break an anticipated Republican filibuster over cap and trade and predicted the most the Democrats can muster is about 34.
He said all the hubbub in the House was over Pelosi’s desire to attend a conference in Copenhagen and be able to stand up and say, “Oh, we’ve passed this out of the House and we’re going to lead the way in America but it’s not going to pass the Senate.”
Inhofe said the bill, if passed, would constitute the largest tax increase in the history of the country.
He scoffed at Democratic claims that “cap and trade” doesn’t represent a tax increase at all but instead is a free enterprise solution.
“MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the Wharton School of Economics came out with an analysis of what this is. They said that the range is between $330 and $350 billion a year. That translates in Oklahoma to $3,200 per family. Everyone who’s reading this story right now, that would be a tax increase of over $3,000 per family. I can give you all the documentation on that.”
Inhofe said Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, tried to “rip me up” on the Senate floor only Thursday night and I said, “In your state of Massachusetts, there’s an innocuous organization called MIT. Are you familiar with that?” Then, he said, he read what the MIT analysis had to say. (Read the whole thing…)