CFACT’s Morano on Sen. Inhofe’s growing influence

Marc Morano, editor of CFACT’s Climate Depot website, was recently quoted in a National Journal article on Senator James Inhofe, the most vocal critic of global warming science and policy in the U.S. Senate.

The following is an excerpt from the original article at National Journal:

If Republicans control the Senate [after the 2012 elections], Inhofe will be more than chairman like he was under then-President George W. Bush from 2003 to 2006. He’ll be the leading voice in a chamber where the political consensus on climate change has splintered within the Republican Party. And in the absence of comprehensive climate legislation, EPA is going full-speed ahead on rules controlling greenhouse gases—not to mention a slew of other major air pollution standards.

How Inhofe can leverage his influence will depend on the outcome of the White House race. If President Obama wins, Inhofe could fill a role akin to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., who has rallied the tea-party base by holding hearings blasting EPA regulations and shepherding legislation curtailing the agency’s authority over greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama would be forced to pay attention to Inhofe, a lawmaker many of the president’s environmental supporters dismiss as a climate denier and outlier ignoring the science behind one of the most pressing issues facing not just the country, but the entire world.

“If Obama wins reelection and the GOP gains the Senate, Inhofe would provide a massive headache for President Obama’s energy and climate policy,” said Marc Morano, who served as Inhofe’s communications director from 2006 to 2009 when he was both chairman and ranking member. Morano now runs the website ClimateDepot.com for the conservative Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. The website seeks to debunk the science behind climate change.

The landscape could be trickier for Inhofe if Obama loses. If a Republican becomes president who is to Inhofe’s left on these issues, the Oklahoman could find himself with his hands tied, which would be similar to what happened when he was chairman while George W. Bush was in the White House, Morano said.

“Inhofe will be more powerful and more high-profile if Obama wins,” Morano said. “The danger when weak Republicans win is that a lot more can get done because you don’t have partisanship opposing it. Republicans who would otherwise oppose anything Obama does on climate and EPA regulations may actually support it when a Republican does it because they’re supporting their party.”

Morano considers the GOP’s frontrunner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, weak on these issues, like he said Bush was. “If you’re opposed to climate regulations, you’re almost better off with a Democratic president because Republicans weak on this issue may actually support things,” he said.

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About the Author: Marc Morano

Marc Morano