A senior US senator on Thursday ruled out violent unrest across the Middle East as a main cause of surging oil and gasoline prices, placing the blame instead on plans to curb greenhouse gases.

“A lot of people are saying that the gas prices that are going up are a result, partially, of what’s happening over there. That isn’t the real problem,” said Republican Senator James Inhofe….

Even for an anti-science irrationalist like Inhofe, this is a quantum leap into an alternate universe.  But I’m not certain what is more bizarre — his denial of reality-based explanations or what he has chosen to replace reality with:

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations DOUBLED!


Inhofe said that “the real problem” was President Barack Obama’s efforts to enact a cap-and-trade plan to curb emissions of greenhouse gases blamed by scientists for global warming.

Yes, apparently a bill that never became a law — one that never even came up for a vote in the U.S. Senate — has some how been endowed with vampire-like powers capable of spooking global oil markets more than 6 months after it died.  Who knew Inhofe was a Twilight fan?

“My message today simply is the higher gas prices are simply a product of this administration’s goal,” said the lawmaker, effectively contradicting market analysts who have pinned the rise on regional turmoil.

Inhofe’s comments came as Republicans, who have vowed to roll back environmental laws they blame for stifling economic growth, sought to harness soaring gas prices to assault Obama’s energy policies.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

While Inhofe’s inane embellishments are a logical extension of recent GOP attacks — if Obama is to blame for higher oil prices, then MidEast reality can’t be — they simply fall apart on closer examination, as discussed yesterday (see “Drill, baby, drill fails: Oil prices soar in spite of sharp increase in U.S. production under Obama“):

USFieldCrudeProd2000-2010 New

Unlike U.S. newspapers, which still feel obliged to present even the most anti-scientific statements as if they were plausible, AFP simply continues the story with this paragraph:

Turmoil in Libya has fueled a sharp rise in oil prices that eased Tuesday when Saudi Arabia — the world’s largest supplier — said it would counter any disruptions of the global market.

In short, it is simply a fact that the recent rise in oil prices is being driven by events in the Middle East.

But, of course, global warming is a settled fact, too, but that never stopped Inhofe from his reign of error.

Related Post: