January 26th, 2009
03:50 PM ET
8 months ago

Senator accuses Pres. Obama of 'environmental thuggery'

Sen. Inhofe, foreground, spoke out Monday about the president's latest executive order.
Sen. Inhofe, foreground, spoke out Monday about the president's latest executive order.

(CNN) - Sen. James Inhofe called President Barack Obama’s plan to allow 14 states to regulate their own fuel emission standards “environmental thuggery” in an interview published Monday.

Obama’s executive order seeks to reduce greenhouse gases by allowing states like California to require stricter fuel standards for cars.

The Oklahoma senator a ranking member of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee and a longtime global warming skeptic, told CNN Monday the proposed plan would too costly for the beleaguered auto industry. “I think you’re going to see them coming in requesting more bailouts now as a result of this,” said Inhofe.

soundoff (322 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Oh yeah?

    Here's what Arnold (R-CA) said today...

    “With this announcement from President Obama less than a week into his administration, it is clear that California and the environment now have a strong ally in the White House. Allowing California and other states to aggressively reduce their own harmful vehicle tailpipe emissions would be a historic win for clean air and for millions of Americans who want more fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly cars. My administration has been fighting for this waiver since 2005 and we will not give up until it is granted because we owe it to our children and to our grandchildren to do more than just protect our natural resources, we must also work to improve them so that we leave behind an environment for future generations that is better than it is today.”

    http://gov.ca.gov/press-release/11417/

    January 26, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. FreeNLovIt

    God help us. Right now, we need a STRONG visionary leader. We cant afford to be blowing with the wind anymore if we all want to be FREE.

    January 26, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  3. Jeff in Illinois

    Neocons hate it when auto companies increase fuel economy and gain market share and increase profits as a result. All they ever want to see is failed American businesses and increased pollution. To a male GOP congressman, its second only to airport bathroom love-fests and tweenage boys when it comes to providing for their carnal satisfaction.

    January 26, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. John

    To Change.com; yes, the domestics have those very fuel efficient vehicles in Europe right now. However, their diesel powertrains will be heavily fined because they won't meet the very strict CAFE standards. California will heavily fine them and will most likely put their ban on diesels back in place.

    January 26, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. laura

    Inhofe / Palin 2012 jajaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Wow Inhofe ... you just made Palin sound hhmmmm ' smart '

    January 26, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. Marc

    Rick – January 26th, 2009 4:52 pm ET
    'Inhofe is right on the money again. Global warming is the biggest scam ever orchestrated and of course, democrats being the mindless lemmings that they are, have fallen for it hook, line and sinker.'

    Actually YOU are the one who only appears in these blogs to repeat the mantra 'Global Warming does not exist! Global Warming does not exist! Global Warming does not exist!' over and over again?
    What's that Rick, are you from the Global Warming Denial Church? You know, those people who no matter how much proven WRONG still can't accept that there is a Global Warming?

    January 26, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. laura

    Inhofe / Palin 2012 jajaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Wow Inhofe ... you just made Palin sound hhmmmm ' smart '

    Hey red face .... get with the program ... START caring about US not about MONEY People ...

    January 26, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. montag

    If the Republicans are unhappy with Obama, then the new president must be doing a good job. Suck it up, GOP. You lost, remember?

    January 26, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. dave

    "I hope Global Warming is REAL and HAPPENS FAST! The sooner we can wash away the liberal coastal areas the better."

    Ray Ray -

    As a liberal coastal person, I'll gladly make you a deal. Let's form two countries - the liberal coasts and the conservative heartland. Wanna guess which country would turn into a third world nation? I suggest you do some research to look into manufacturing, production, and tax revenue numbers to inform your answer. The truth is you live off the excess production of the coastal elite. Put that in your conservative pipe and smoke it.

    January 26, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. CO almost native

    Look, Obama is undoing Bush's executive order, that undid a court decision in California's favor. Obama can't just reset EPA standards for the country, Congress has to do that. And Congress- convinced by the auto industry for years- has refused to do that. This goes back to the Carter administration, which increased fuel efficiency- only to have the Reagan administration cancel them. If Carter's standards had been left alone, we would not be in quite so much a mess, in terms of oil use.

    January 26, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. Anna from Milton, FL

    Amazing how the republicans always support states' rights unless it's the democrats who grant the states their rights. Then it's "thuggery"?

    January 26, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. barack obama is still just B.O.

    This is amazingly thoughtful and futuristic thinking by Obama. Save the environment and make it more livable again. After all, we will all be living out in the wild after our economy quickens it's under his "intelligent", (cough, cough!), leadership.

    January 26, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Jeff

    To Rumple Stiltskin...aka Senator James Inhofe – wake up from yesteryear...conservation, cleaner air, et al, and innovation are a good thing...and profitable...not to mention sending fewer billions of dollars to middle-eastern countries – with some of it's leaders supporting/ funding terrorism.

    To the "Big Three"...adopt and follow the Marines creed...Innovate, Adapt, and Overcome! We're having to do this out here beyond the ivory towers and mahogany row too 'ya meek jerks.

    January 26, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Sherry

    Looks like we have another Rush fan in the Senate. Get real and get with it! The younger people of this country spoke up and now they are acting and not ho-hum,hohumming around. I love the froth I am seeing in all the naysayers that always say it can't be done. Well, it is finally getting done (CHANGE) and it could be too late. I have faith. I will not live in the fear they spit out on Rush, in the Senate or Congress. BTW- I am 58 yrs old, and I voted for CHANGE!

    January 26, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Meh

    Rick> I suppose you believe the Earth is flat, too. If the polar ice caps and various glaciers around the world melting at an alarming rate isn't proof enough for you, I don't know what else to say.

    AndyL> There is a reason Japanese car companies do so well: they give the people what they want (great gas mileage) and their cars are affordable. The US auto industry needs to step it up or NO ONE is going to buy their cars!

    January 26, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. badger

    First the repugs vote against raising the cafe standards and claim to be all for state rights. Now they call it thuggery when the prez gives the states rights to clean up the environment. The car companies are going to have to retool to be competitive. Maybe the repugs can once again blame it on the UAW that things are so bad for the car companies.

    January 26, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. Robin

    That is all fine and good, we all should drive new, energy efficient cars. What happens to the people who can't afford them? I may be Republican, but a new car is not in my budget.

    January 26, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Sophia in Canada

    I think James Inhoffe is well up to speed on the basic tenets of
    "Thug-Hood"

    January 26, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. chris

    I wonder if this guy voted for the auto-bailout since he seems so concerned about them coming back for more money? If he did not vote for it then he really barks down the wrong hole. If he did good for him, but he must have missed the news that this is what POTUS said he would do during the campaign.

    January 26, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. BB

    Is Inhofe up for election in 2010?

    Let's vote all the obstructionists OUT

    January 26, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Gia in Los Angeles, CA

    The article even says that this clown is a global warming skeptic! What to you expect?!

    I'm a Californian and I am all FOR the stricter regulations! Even if you don't believe in global warming, you can at least SEE the effects of pollution. We need cleaner air and more environmental responsibility.

    January 26, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. Mike, Syracuse NY

    This will just cause a big regulatotry and enforcement mess, as well as add to the cost of cars. If higher standards are needed, there should be a higher federal standard. Having 50 different 'standards' means there is no standard. Of course having 50 different regulations in force makes the big government Dems happy. Hey dummies, it's a question of efficiency. Is it more efficient for an automaker to make one model or 50 variants? Raise the standard, but do it once at the federal level.

    January 26, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Karl

    Inhofe, you lost. Suck it up and think about your children's children's future.

    January 26, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. Jackie in Dallas

    A "long-time skeptic" hmmm? From Oklahoma? Somehow, that's not surprising.

    States rights have been undermined for decades, where our Constitution actually supported them. I think it is wise to let them have some say, as long as they don't go BELOW the recommended levels. States like California with it's smog, or some of the manufacturing states (although there are less and less of those) probably DO need higher standards. It could even go down to regional requirements: Houston definitely needs higher standards than Austin.

    This guy is out of luck, out to lunch, and out of touch.

    January 26, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. Chris

    How proud the people of Oklahoma must feel to produce a Senator like Inhofe! Real intelligent guy, careful choice of words, so in tune with his constituents and so full of scientific knowledge. I am truly amazed! ;-)

    January 26, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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