Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). If Pavlov’s research was correct, you should be rolling your eyes right now. Inhofe. Eye roll. If for some reason you aren’t rolling your eyes, perhaps you don’t know enough about him. He’s … let’s see. Imagine if you combined George W. Bush with Donald Trump with a cartoon oil baron with a spoiled 3-year-old from whom you’ve just taken a favorite toy. Eye roll.
Inhofe’s stock in trade is climate change denialism. (For example and for example.) Representing the oil-friendly state of Oklahoma, it’s no surprise. Nor was it a surprise when, earlier this year, Inhofe targeted the military’s biofuels program, arguing that an effort to decrease reliance on fossil fuels should be undertaken only if the alternative is the same cost as a petroleum-based option. Which is stupid, because biofuels are trailing diesel fuel on the development and implementation cycle by, oh, a century and a half or so. There’s obvious benefit to such experiments, unless you love love love oil love love love it. Which I suspect Inhofe does.
Well, bad news, Senator. Your colleagues think your idea is bad. According to The Hill, the Senate voted yesterday 62-37 to remove Inhofe’s anti-biofuel amendment from the National Defense Authorization Act, with nine Republicans joining the Democratic majority. Said Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.):
Our military is on the cutting edge technologically, but much of our fighting capability relies on foreign fossil fuels and decades-old power systems. That dependence has very real human and economic costs. Today’s strong bipartisan vote affirms that we should allow our military leaders to continue to develop and use advanced alternative fuels in order to bring down costs and improve mission capabilities.
Or, to put it more bluntly, as Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) did: “Is Big Oil calling the shots here?” In a dark corner of Washington, Big Oil shuffled its feet nervously and checked its watch.
And in his office on Capitol Hill, Sen. Inhofe stamped his feet and wailed, his favorite toy having been taken away.