In it, but not of it. TPM DC
Inhofe was scheduled to give the keynote opening address at the Annual International Conference on Climate Change hosted by the Heartland Institute, an organization devoted to shooting down the accepted scientific view that human behavior is altering the climate.
Inhofe is a regular in these circles, but not today. He couldn't make the conference, citing health reasons. Instead he sent over a statement read from the podium to the several hundred climate change skeptics gathered in Washington Thursday.
He said that skepticism has won out on Capitol Hill, pointing to the death of cap-and-trade and the rise in views like his since the Republicans took over the House in January.
"Today the mood in Washington is significantly different," Inhofe said. "Everyone readily admits that cap-and-trade legislation is dead on Capitol Hill -- even our good friend, Senator [Barbara] Boxer [D-CA]."
Boxer chairs the environment committee in the Senate and has said that Republican gains in Congress have made it clear carbon-capping legislation is not moving forward anytime soon. Inhofe is ranking member on the committee and the two have sparred publicly in the recent past.
As for Obama, Inhofe said that the president is feeling the shift away from global warming support as well. The American people don't want to hear about global warming anymore, Inhofe says, and Obama is obliging them.
Still, as Inhofe himself points out, Obama's administration has made a number of green pushes since taking office. From the president's own fixation on green jobs and the alternative energy industry -- which is so strong some say it's becoming a liability -- to the EPA's push to regulate greenhouse gasses and dramatically increase fuel efficiency in automobiles, the current White House is far greener than its predecessor.
So, despite the gains they've made, Inhofe warned attendees at the skeptic conference that Obama is still not their friend, despite what Al Gore may have written.
"President Obama has received the message loud and clear: you don't often hear him speak about global warming, much to the consternation of Al Gore," Inhofe said. "He understands that the green agenda is not popular but that doesn't mean he has given up trying to implement it. Take a good close look at the President's administration."
"I hope you agree with me that our work is far from over," he added.