Playing Political Ping-pong with the Environment

Sen. Inhofe: About air pollution

By Mark Kneubuhl –

(May 18,2012)  Yesterday, an article posted on the conservative website The Daily Caller, made headlines of the U.S. Federal government spending $70 billion on “climate change activities” since 2008, “coincidentally” the year Barrack Obama took office.

Nowhere in the article was there any mention of exactly how the money was spent. In addition, the article never mentioned the source of this appropriation of funds, thus the endless digging through heaps of Congressional Research Service(CRS) and Congressional Budget Office(CBO) filings and reports.

Instead the article focused on Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, who presented the recent CRS report on the Senate Floor Thursday, making the point that the Obama administration has been focused on ‘green’ defense projects at the expense of America’s military readiness.

Senator Inhofe is well known for his proactive position with the Big Five oil companies, while Robert Kennedy Jr. called him ‘Big Oil’s top-10 call girl’ in a March tweet.  He has also publically stated “his belief” that “global warming is a hoax”.

In the Caller article, the only details on how and where the money was spent was claiming that from fiscal years 2008 through 2012 the federal government spent $68.4 billion to combat climate change. In addition, The Department of Defense spent $4 billion on climate change and energy efficiency activities, such as solar panels at installations.

The rest of the two page article was just more of the Kardashians at the Capitol, with the Oklahoma Senator inferring that these funds – not just the $4-billion, came from cuts in military spending and great danger to our troops overseas and security at home.

And what seems to be a little of a mismatch –at least where this topic is concerned, Senator Inhofe is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In yesterday’s hearings Senator Inhofe pounded the point that, “despite President Obama’s recent change in rhetoric for his re-election campaign, he remains fully determined to implement his all-out attack on traditional American energy development — and the military is one place where he can force it to happen…

“Would you rather have $64.8 billion spent on pointless global warming efforts or would you rather have more funds put towards modernizing our fleet of ships, aircraft and ground vehicles to improve the safety of our troops and help defend our nation against the legitimate threats that we face?” he added.

In looking at the big picture, $70-billion is about 1/50th of the Defense Budget for that 4-year period. The $4-Billion that the Defense Department actually spent of its own money to upgrade its facilities to be more energy efficient represents about 1/175th of their annual budget. It’s also a one-time expense designed to provide for a long terms savings for the DOD.

A CBO report stated that in 2008 and 2009 nearly $14-billion was spent on Federal climate change programs, but 2/3 of the funds ($9.5-B), paid for technology in the climate science field.

The CBO report further stated: Adjusted for inflation, funding for climate science programs changed little from 1998 to 2009; in fact, at $2.0 billion, the 2009 appropriations were below the 1998 amounts in 2009 dollars.

At yesterday’s hearing, Inhofe concluded by saying, “President Obama can write press releases for his lackeys but Secretary Panetta has an important job to do and doesn’t have time to be pandering to President Obama’s global warming fantasies or his ongoing war on affordable energy. He has a real war to win.”

Postscript: While I only had a few hours to write this article it involved the review of government documents. If I had a week, it still wouldn’t have been enough time.  This exercise reinforced my belief that a fair chunk of our taxpayer’s change goes to government writers, researchers and printers.


About The Daily Caller:  Founded in 2010 by Tucker Carlson, a 20-year veteran journalist and conservative commentator for Fox News, and Neil Patel, former chief policy advisor to Vice President Cheney. Patel also co-founder and Managing Director of Bluebird Asset Management, a hedge fund focused on mortgage backed securities.

Posted by at May 18, 2012
Filed in category: Economy, Environment, Politics, Uncategorized, and tagged with: ,

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