TULSA - A leading environmental group has issued its list of the top twenty "dirty deniers," and an Oklahoma Senator is prominently featured on it.
The Natural Resources Defense Council says U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe has received $1.7 million dollars in contributions from the oil and gas industry, and has a record of "terrible votes against the environment."
The group is also incensed at Inhofe's claim that global warming is a hoax, a theory he explained at length in his book "The Greatest Hoax."
They have good reason to worry; if he's re-elected, and Republicans gain a majority in the Senate in November, Inhofe will become chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
The NRDC itself has a mixed reputation, though it's one of the largest non-profit environmental organizations in the world.
It has been accused of fabricating some of its claims.
In a statement posted on its website, NRDC writes:
Though the winds often come sweeping down the plains in Oklahoma, they have not blown hard enough to clear away the misguided, misleading views of Senator James Inhofe. Inhofe is a top ranking Dirty Denier because of his campaign funding from dirty sources and his terrible votes against the environment.
It goes on to say:
He has received an astounding $1,671,521 in contributions to his campaign committee and Leadership PAC from the oil & gas industry over the course of his political career, including $489,250 in the 2014 election cycle alone. Among his top contributors are individuals and political action committees associated with Koch Industries, the multinational corporation run by the libertarian oil baron Koch brothers and their cronies, and a leading funder of climate change denialism, and Murray Energy, the largest underground coal mining company in America, which has sued the EPA multiple times and has an outspoken climate changer denier as CEO.
Inhofe responded that he stands by his record.