Senator Blasts Climate Regulations as “Wealth Redistribution”

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Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe took aim at President Obama’s climate change policies in the wake of the State of the Union Address, claiming that the president’s policies were tantamount to the “largest tax increase in the history of America.”

“Why the pain for no gain?” asked the Republican. “As the Wall Street Journal put it when reporting on just one of the president’s many climate regulations, this is a wealth redistribution scheme being imposed by the president through the EPA.”

In telling the nation about the importance of addressing climate change, Obama failed to mention one of his most controversial policies: the limit on carbon emissions to be imposed on the country’s power plants. Inhofe insists that Obama’s climate proposals are nothing but “grandstanding,” saying that all of his regulations will reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere by only “one-half of a percent.” At the same time, the policies will cost the economy nearly $500 billion, “and tens of thousands of Americans will lose access to well-paying jobs over the course of the next decade.”

The Vote on Climate Change

Inhofe’s congressional chamber, meanwhile, voted on Wednesday to declare that climate change was a real phenomenon. In a vote that liberals have been hailing as a major step forward for the GOP, the Senate voted 98-1 that climate change was not merely a hoax. In the context of the debate over the Keystone Pipeline XL bill, Democrats proposed holding the vote as a way to gauge the temperature of the Senate.

That vote led to another, when Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, proposed an amendment declaring that “climate change is real and human activity significantly contributes to climate change.” That vote did not go as Democrats may have hoped. It split the Senate floor 50-49 in favor of the amendment. The law requires 60 to grant approval.

While the liberal blogosphere has been quick to pounce on the second vote as proof that Republicans are still the science deniers they always claimed, the word “significantly” was the sticking point for many senators. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who actually voted for the second amendment, accused Democrats of using science for political gain. “You are undercutting a real genuine debate,” Graham said. “You made climate change a religion rather than a problem.”

And that is exactly what so many liberals fail to understand about the climate change debate. They accuse Republicans of politicizing science, when they are the ones that turned this into a political platform. There’s not one reason in a thousand that climate change should be a partisan issue. But from the very beginning, Democrats have jumped ahead of the science to further their anti-business agenda. Why would one of the most significant documentaries on the subject be hosted by Al Gore?

The president has positioned himself as a leader on climate change policy, but his regulations serve only to cut jobs, weaken the economy, and suck up to political donors. They will have little to no practical effect on global warming. That’s the debate we should be having: what can we do, and how can we do it without destroying the economy in the process? But Democrats, afraid of losing their stranglehold on the issue, don’t want to come to the table.

As usual, the liberal philosophy wins out: as long as you appear to care about a subject, the details are unimportant.