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Inhofe issues statement on Pope's global warming paper

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, Congress’ most vocal skeptic of man-made global warming, issued a statement Thursday in response to Pope Francis’ encyclical warning about the consequences of climate change.

In the lengthy letter released by the Vatican, the Pope wrote, “It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the earth's orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity.


"This century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us.”

Inhofe, the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said:

"I disagree with the pope's philosophy on global warming. I am concerned that his encyclical will be used by global warming alarmists to advocate for policies that will equate to the largest, most regressive tax increase in our nation's history. It's the poor that spend the largest portion of their expendable income to heat their homes, and they will be the ones to carry the heaviest burden of such onerous policies.

"I believe we should be good stewards of the earth God gave us, which is why I advocated for the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the Clear Skies Act, and today I am pushing to reform and improve the Toxic Substance Control Act, reauthorize the Brownfields program, and advance abandoned mine clean up across the nation.


“As Dr. Thomas Burke, EPA's Science Advisor, told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week, science is never settled. Climate science isn't settled. We have been innovative with our energy supply, and for generations the United States has lifted people out of poverty through the development of our God-given natural resources, most prominently from fossil fuels.


“We have worked to make these resources cleaner and more efficient, and natural gas is a perfect example. To unravel this fabric of economic opportunity would create more poverty, not less. Energy is a lifeblood of the modern world, and we cannot ignore that efficient, cost-effective electricity is a means to sufficient healthcare, employment opportunities, agriculture production, and vitality of life."


Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the environment committee, said, "God bless the Pope for speaking the truth to the world about the dangers we face if we don't tackle climate change.


“I hope his words serve as a wake-up call for those who believe the polluters and for those who have worked night and day to stop us from passing legislation that would move us toward clean energy and allow us to avert the catastrophe of unchecked climate change."

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›