Inhofe’s new conspiracy

INHOFE’S NEW CONSPIRACY…. On Fox News this morning, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) insisted the Environmental Protection Agency was given evidence that undermines global warming, so the agency hid it to advance “probably the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

Inhofe said the EPA “absolutely” buried evidence undermining policy on global warming after a researcher’s report claimed that carbon dioxide has had little effect on the environment.

“They’ve been cooking that science since 1998,” Inhofe said during an interview on Fox News.

Inhofe argued that there should be a criminal investigation into the EPA report, as well.

“I don’t know whether there would be or not,” he said. “There could be, and there probably should be.”

In our reality, the EPA has an employee — an economist, not a climate scientist — named Alan Carlin who apparently doesn’t believe in global warming. In fact, he insists that global temperatures are “not going up, and if anything they’re going down.” He submitted a “report” arguing that the government shouldn’t worry about regulating carbon emission, relying on familiar conservative arguments.

Not surprisingly, the EPA saw the “report” but did not take Carlin’s concerns seriously.

“Claims that this individual’s opinions were not considered or studied are entirely false. This Administration and this EPA Administrator are fully committed to openness, transparency and science-based decision making. These principles were reflected throughout the development of the proposed endangerment finding, a process in which a broad array of voices were heard and an inter-agency review was conducted. […]

“The individual in question is not a scientist and was not part of the working group dealing with this issue.”

Nevertheless, Fox News is awfully excited about this; the right-wing Competitive Enterprise Institute is trying to rally support for Carlin; Inhofe is talking about a criminal investigation of the EPA; and House Republicans are waving Carlin’s report around as evidence of … something.

Our policy discourse can be very frustrating.