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January 03, 2018

Inhofe Speaks on Senate Floor About Climate Change, Iran Protests and Tax Reform

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), spoke on the Senate floor today about climate change, protests in Iran and tax reform.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Mr. President, well, I’d like to begin with wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and I’m hoping that everyone had a great Christmas. We did and I have three observations consistent with 2018.  

First, here in Washington we’re experiencing some really frigid temperatures this week and in Oklahoma—let me tell you—it was colder there than it was here, which is unusual.

Many parts of the country saw 2017 end with record-breaking low weather and meteorologists are predicting more record-breaking cold for the rest of the week and into the beginning of next.

I bring this up to highlight the fact that President Trump joked last week on Twitter. He said that “we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming…” I say it a little bit differently, Mr. President. I say, where is the global warming when we need it? We sure needed it last week.

Well, the alarmists went crazy. Let me explain an alarmist. They believe that the world is ending because of global warming and CO2 emissions and went crazy for not understanding the difference between weather and climate.

We keep saying the same things. The climate is always changing. We understand that. We actually had a unanimous vote on the floor of the Senate—yeah, climate changes. It has always changed. Historically. Scripturally. It’s always changed. We understand that.

I know a thing or two about that kind of criticism. You might remember, I brought a snowball in here a couple Februaries ago to show that we’re not experiencing climate change when it snows in February after we’ve been told for decades we’ll soon never have snow again.

You might remember how Al Gore made some pretty outrageous claims—that global warming was going to cause all the snow to melt from Mount Kilimanjaro by 2016, that the Arctic would be completely melted by 2014 and that all of the polar bears would soon become extinct. The only thing that happened according to an article in The New York Times is that Al Gore has become the first environmental billionaire.

But after I brought the snowball to the floor, the critics were quick to jump on my case about the difference between weather and climate. But those same critics are also quick to jump on weather events when it supports their cause. Whenever there is a particularly bad tornado in Oklahoma – a state that has had particularly bad tornados for as long as there have been people there to witness them – I’m immediately asked if this will cause me to change my mind about global warming or climate change.

I said, “Why?” Alarmists have been insisting for years that weather isn’t climate, after all.

After this past hurricane season, I was repeatedly asked if I thought climate change was to blame for the tragic natural disasters. Again, I responded: you alarmists have been insisting that weather isn’t climate so why change your position now.

I’m not surprised that we have hurricanes during hurricane season or tornados during tornado season, or cold temperatures and snow during winter. We hear constantly that natural disasters are getting worse, yet when you look at the data there is no support for that conclusion. When Category 4 Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and other Gulf states, it was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States for 12 years.  

The next largest gap between major hurricanes only lasted 8 years and was in the 1860s. Tornado activity has also been down in recent years with the latest data of 2016 showing a continued low number of tornados across the United States.

Since we’re experiencing record-breaking cold last week and this week in much of the country, we’re once again reminded that weather’s not climate.

So what is happening on the climate front?

If you listen to the alarmists—keep in mind who the alarmists are: they are the ones saying the world is coming to an end because of global warming. But they’ll say we’re all burning to death and temperatures are sky-rocketing. Over the last couple years, we’ve been told that it was the “hottest year on record” and we’re scolded by the jet-setting celebrities about our carbon footprint. But again, if you actually look at the data, there isn’t support for this hysteria –2014, 2015, and 2016 were touted by the Obama administration as the “hottest years on record” but the increases are well within the margin of error.

In 2016, NOAA said the earth warmed by 0.04 degrees Celsius and the British government pegged it at a mere 0.01 Celsius. However, the margin of error is 0.1 degrees Celsius making the “increase” statistically meaningless and well below the doom-and-gloom temperature predictions from all the various models from “consensus” scientists.

Now Steven Koonin, he was undersecretary for science at the Department of Energy under President Obama, he said: “The Obama administration relentlessly politicized science and aggressively pushed a campaign about that politicized science.”

In other words, he’s using that to make a case that is not true. This comes out of his own administration.

In September of 2017, University of Alabama-Huntsville climate scientists John Christy and Richard McNider published a study showing no acceleration in global warming for the last 23 years.

Their research shows that if you remove the climate effects of two volcanic eruptions and natural El Nino and La Nina systems that occurred over the last 38 years, there has been little change since the early 1990s to the rate of warming and that model predictions from the IPCC are overstated by about double.

The volcanic eruptions cooled the earth when ash, soot and debris entered the atmosphere and sunlight was reflected away. Christy explains, “Those eruptions happened relatively early in our study period, which pushed down temperatures in the first part of the dataset, which caused the overall record to show an exaggerated warming trend.”

Here we have two respected climate scientists using sound science to discredit the so-called “consensus” scientists. There are hundreds of scientists out there. One is an M.I.T., a guy named Richard Linzer who has been outspoken about this.

Every time one of these studies comes out, I have to wonder how so many people fall for the “consensus” myth. Then I remember that the media does not share these studies with their readers or viewers because they don’t fall in line with the fear-mongering hysteria needed to push policies that drive businesses and jobs away.

I’m thankful that we have a President and an Administration that refuses to handcuff our economy with policies that are based on overblown headlines.

So while we continue to have tornados in May, hurricanes in the fall, and bitterly cold temperatures in the winter, we must remember that the climate has been stable over the last few decades and we shouldn’t give in to the fear-mongers.

Rather, we should focus on actual threats to American families, like the regime in Iran that calls for “Death to America, Death to Israel.”

One week ago today, the men and women of Iran began protesting in the streets and what began as people speaking out against the sluggish economy and the economic growth that does not exist in Iran—the people got fed up with it.

So the media in Iran has reported that over 20 individuals have died in these protests. They’re protesting for their own freedom.  And over 450 have been arrested since the regime’s violent crackdown against the protesters began. Now, keep in mind what they are protesting. They just want some of the freedoms that they know other countries have. Right now, they are in a state where they don’t see any other way to make this happen.

In an act that defies transparency and democratic principles, the regime has shut down social media and messaging sites—limiting the flow of information about the protests. In other words, they they’re not letting the outside world know what’s going on there.

Iran clearly thinks that they can get away with this flagrant disregard of human rights, and why shouldn’t they? Under the Obama administration, Iran was able to violently crack down on democratic protesters in 2009, continue ballistic missile tests in violation of U.N. resolutions and finance terrorist organizations in the region without international condemnation or repercussions. Remember, Iran is still the financial backbone of terrorism in that part of the world.

Well, just last month we learned how the Obama administration undermined law enforcement efforts against Hezbollah’s drug trafficking operations. Hezbollah is well-known to be a proxy of Iran. Everyone knows that. But rather than go after the financial backing of a known-terrorist organization, Obama swept it under the rug. 

His focus was on creating and then protecting the flawed Iran Nuclear Deal—a deal he promised would end Iran’s aggressive behavior in the region and promote reforms in Iran through economic opportunity. Well, the actual results of the deal have never been more clear.

The ruling elite in Tehran continues their aggressive behavior by putting their nation’s resources towards supporting Assad’s regime in Syria, testing ballistic missiles and committing human rights abuses against women and religious minorities. It is no wonder that freedom-loving men and women in Iran seek meaningful change.

Fortunately, President Trump has already been clear that the United States stands behind the right of Iranian citizens to peacefully protest.

Maybe the Ayatollah didn’t get the message when President Trump was sworn in last year. Under President Trump, America is the leader of the free world again—standing up for common, human dignity and democratic values. He’s backed up his support with action – weighing additional sanctions against the regime and having U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley call for emergency U.N. meetings to address the human rights concerns.

I support his efforts, and look forward to working with the president and his administration to enact any needed sanctions against Iran in order to advance freedom and democracy.

Now, Mr. President, I mentioned that there are three things I wanted to address for this New Year. The third is tax reform.

We’re approaching one year under President Trump’s administration, and already seeing the benefits of tax reform and cutting harmful regulations. The comprehensive tax reform legislation passed by Congress last month will allow American families to keep more of their hard-earned money and make it easier for businesses to grow and hire more hard-working people.

Already businesses across the country like American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Boeing, Comcast, Wells Fargo, AT&T and in my state of Oklahoma, the Express Employment Professionals headquartered in Oklahoma City have announced investments in their employees and businesses as a result of the tax bill.

Now, clearly the tax reform bill will compound the economic growth that we have already seen, a result from President Trump’s consistent efforts to cut regulations his first year.

Following the severe economic recession of 2008 and uncertainty of the future, many companies chose not to invest in their business or their employees. During the Obama Administration, federal bureaucrats unleashed hundreds of regulations that increased the cost of doing business, stifling job creation.

The result was obvious. According to a report by The Heritage Foundation, by 2015, Obama’s regulations were costing the taxpayers over $100 billion a year. With these limitations on job-creators, it is no surprise that the average GDP growth under President Obama was just a little over 1.5 percent, no matter that previously throughout America’s history we have consistently seen GDP growth of 3 percent or higher.

In less than one year, by directing federal agencies to delay, withdraw, or invalidate 1,600 planned regulatory actions, President Trump has done what President Obama was unable to do in eight years – restore the confidence of the American business community. He did that by reversing the Obama regulations.

In fact, I have taken the time to list these regulations that were putting people out of business. I think that people should look at these and realize that the great results we’ve had are a result of doing away with over-regulation.

On January 1, the New York Times even recognized the positive effect of the President’s deregulatory agenda – reporting on the new wave of optimism in American businesses.

Listen to this. The “Trump effect,” this is what the New York Times is calling it, very appropriately I might add, is beginning to translate to investment in new plants, equipment, and facility upgrades that bolster economic growth.

With the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years, we’re also seeing the “Trump effect” on wages as businesses invest in their workforce by raising wages to keep and attract skilled employees. This week the Wall Street Journal reported how cities like Minneapolis have seen a four percent wage growth in the last year – the highest growth in six years.

I’m confident we’re going to hear more success stories around the country. The proof is in the numbers. For the first two full quarters of the Trump Administration, which was the second and third quarters of 2017, we have increased the growth to over three percent. This is from an average of 1.5 percent. And for each one percent increase of economic activity in GDP, that translated into additional revenue, about $3 trillion over 10 years.  

So, finally, the “Made in America” economy is running at full speed again and we have three huge success stories of the Trump administration.

With that, I want to say Happy New Year—2018 is going to be great.

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