Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) unloaded this week on anyone who is trying to tie his state’s devastating tornado with the broader issue of climate change. In an interview with conservative website Newsmax, Inhofe claimed the “liberal media is trying to exploit a tragedy to advance and expand its own agenda.”
Inhofe was responding both the Democratic lawmakers, like Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who spoke up about climate change in the wake of the tornado (and later apologized for the timing of his remarks) and media organizations that investigated what connection, if any, there was between the unusual strength of last week’s tornado and the changing climate.
“We were being hit by tornadoes long before anyone talked about climate change,” Inhofe said, “and even before it was called ‘global cooling,’ before it became ‘global warming,’ and then ‘climate change.’ The same thing that happened last week happened 14 years ago, 25 years ago, and 30 years ago.”
Inhofe has also found himself squaring off with fellow Republicans, in light of the tornado damage, regarding federal relief funding. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) accused Inhofe of “hypocrisy” for favoring relief efforts for Oklahomans, but voting against it for New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.
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