January 26th, 2009
03:50 PM ET
4 years 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. No incumbents 2010

    Well I guess if they put the big three auto makers out of business and regulate other industries to the point of extinction. We will definitely have clean air. No jobs, but clean air.

    January 26, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. To John

    John January 26th, 2009 5:06 pm ET

    I love how people who have no clue about auto manufacturing come in here and blast the senator for saying something that they think is off base. Get a clue people. This is going to put a damper on the entire automotive industry.....
    1st the Republicans don't want to bailout the auto industry until they change their business plan to fit with new industries and demand. Now they say those new industries and demand will sink them if we force it on them. Eventually we have to move forward. It does have to happen... sooner rather than later. How about we lead for once instead of following. Maybe the foreign auto companies could follow our lead for once.

    January 26, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Keith

    Some people follow there survival instincts and look for solutions to problems. Well others sit back and complain about those solutions, and yet they offer none of there own.

    Becoming energy independent {with clean energy's} is how The United States will reclaims it's greatness.

    January 26, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Lee

    Well the republicans have been guilty of "environmental buggery" ever since Ronald Reagan appointed an EPA chief who said that preserving the environment didn't matter since the world was ending (and Jesus returning) within his lifetime.

    We (and he world) have been screwed ever since. Senator Inhof is a famous science "denier" just as more than half of his atavistic political party is.

    Let's make them extinct before they cause more extinctions.

    January 26, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. Simon Templer

    Well said Dave.

    "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 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. Mike

    First off the american auto industry shouldn't be bailed out in the first place. Second the american auto industry should not have given up long ago to the foreign competitors and allowed them to trounce all over them with better quality cars. Instead the american auto makers focused on SUV's, and Trucks when they should've been forward thinking and looking at making cars more fuel efficient with higher quality standards. If they'd have done that they wouldn't be so far in the hole as they are today. I love my japanese car 33mpg average and 2 major repairs in 6 years. Can't say that for american cars that spend more time in the shop then on the road. Let the states require higher emissions standards. Maybe then the auto industry will realize what's at stake.

    January 26, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Brandon


    On second thought, someone check this guy's bank account/campaign funds, there might be a large deposit from "FORD" or "GM" in there somewhere.

    Seriously though, this is the type of politics that are preventing us, as a United States to be able to deal with the very real problem of global climate change.


    January 26, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Tony Rezko

    @ Dave

    OK, Coastal Liberal, quick question, where does your energy come from? HHHMMM pretty sure its states like Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, etc. You might want to check your facts before you get all ugly like that, unless of course you can run a light bulb off pot smoke and peaceful thoughts, then I would rethink my position.

    January 26, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Desmond Sequeira

    Inofe and a bunch of other thugs are the ones who are bent on robbing our planet of its health

    January 26, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Tina

    By not doing exactly what Obama is attempting to do is the reason the Big 3 are in the mess that they are in. They saw how much money they were making on luxury cars and gas guzzling SUVs that they ignored the world-wide environmental trend and continued on their merry little me-me-me ways. Now Obama is trying to get us back to where we should have been (i.e. non-dependant on foreign oil, developing alternate energy vehicles, etc.) by forcing them to clean up their acts (literally) and they simply don't like it. As he said, its time to put away childish things and GROW UP! Great job Obama!

    BTW: regardless of whether you "believe" in global warming or not, there can be absolutely no rationalization for not adopting cleaner air practices and laws. Money is simply not a good enough reason.

    January 26, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Al

    The auto industry will do exactly what they started to do years ago but were stifled by the previous administration. There will be more innovation with hybrids, the electric car will return with longer range batteries, hydrogen cell will be tooled with until affordable and young scientists will continue to explore alternative energy sources that do not pollute our natural resources. This is where the jobs are going so stop whining and get with the program. Start investing in the 'green' stocks and push for our country to stop outsourcing manufacturing jobs and lastly, Lead our next generation By Example. Hard working parents raise hard working children. The good Senator from Oklahoma needs to step aside; the next generation has spoken.

    January 26, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. Soldier 4 OBAMA

    Inhoffe is in the pocket of big business. Why these guys keep getting elected is beyond me. Oklahoma, Alaska, Missouri,Kansas, the last frontier of bigots!

    January 26, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. chad in avery, ca.

    the earth is only 6000 years old isnt it sen.?
    your a direct desendent of adam and eve too right?
    and it doesnt matter what we do to the earth because the rapture is coming anyway.
    the things you believe in and what you dont believe amaze me and most logical people weather christian or not.
    open your mind idiot.

    January 26, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Jimmy D.

    "Every automaker that sells in the USA market is going to suffer a huge hit in production costs because of the multiple tweaks that need to be done for separate states."

    Then they're going about it wrong... Find the state with the most stringent standard and meet that one in all vehicles produced regardless of where that car is being shipped.

    January 26, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. abc

    oh right, now i know one of the many senators who have been delaying our environmental acts... Mr. Inhofe. a skeptic of global warming? wow! and Sham WOW he's on our Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee?

    January 26, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. No incumbents 2010

    Aren't all those windmills lovely that litter the pristine countryside too?

    January 26, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. kravitz

    Imhofe is treading on the wrong (yes, racial) language when he suggests our first black president is a 'thug' in any way.

    It's the republicans who've been making the environment drop its pants the last eight years. And Imhofe has helped drop them.

    January 26, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. Rachel

    I think Obama is doing the right thing. If that is a Republican howling then why didn't he come up with a plan? None of them have a plan. Not even the guy they pushed out there to run against Obama! Let's face it. The Republicans had their way @ 8 years and things aren't all that great so why not just sit back and listen to someone who has a plan. Not even in the White House 100 days and the naysayers are already crying and probably aren't sure about what.

    January 26, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. Allen in Hartwell GA

    If the "beleaguered auto industry" would make and sale automobiles that are cheap and good for the environment, rather than what gives the biggest profit, there wouldn't be a problem. Someday the auto and oil companies will have a falling out, and we will learn that the auto companies really can make clean efficient autos.

    January 26, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. Tony Rezko

    God Forbid anyone disagree with his highness the Obama-Lama.... really guys, I know you aren't used to being in charge, but here is the cool thing, when you are in charge you don't have to bi%ch anymore. See how that works? I didn't complain that much the last 8 years and now you guys don't have to complain when someone uses "dissent". Remember a few months ago when some of you were saying (and I paraphrase) "dissent is the most American act there is", and now when people dissent they are "idiots" "morons" and "dinosaurs", you people are pathetic, BTW your president just closed Gitmo, hope you will all volunteer to house a detainee at your house....

    January 26, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    "the proposed plan would too costly " Always the excuse for not moving ahead, for business as usual ... the same excuse was used for not inspecting incoming cargo containers for terrorists ... whine, whine,whine – some people are uncomfortable with change, progress especially if its someone else's idea!

    January 26, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  22. Sherry

    No Global Warming? Have you seen it with your own eyes? In 1978, 45 mi. south of Anchorage the Portage Glacier was an awesome site for all visitors to see up close and personal. You could get out of your car and touch it. When I left in 2003 you have to take a bus to even see what is left of that awesome glacier. So don't tell me we do not contribute to global warming or it does not exist. Get real!

    January 26, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. jo jo

    Keep up the good work President Obama! It's about time we have someone in office who cares about the welfare of the people instead of the bottom line such as the GOP (drill-baby-drill). Mr. President, continue to do what is right and all the evil and corrupt people will go running like roaches when you turn the lights on.

    January 26, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. Camilla

    What an idiot! ... What an idiot. Actually leaving me speechless

    January 26, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. Sherry

    Why hasn't BIG OIL bailed out their BIG 3 Buddies? I am sure they get kickbacks for producing huge cars and trucks. I sure don't need nor anyone that I have talked to needs!It is sick!

    January 26, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
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