Sen. James Inhofe calls out Andrew Leonard

The environmentalist's worst nightmare rails against the proposal that fuel economy standards be part of any auto bailout. And he blames me.

Published November 20, 2008 4:27PM (EST)

I can rest in peace now, my work is done. Republican Sen. James "global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" Inhofe called me an example of "environmental thuggery" today.

The news comes from Federal Times reporter Gregg Carlstrom, who was covering the auto bailout discussions in the Senate press galleries on Thursday morning.

[Inhofe] was railing against the fuel-efficiency requirements the "environmental lobby" wants added to any bailout ("The auto bailout appears to be an effort to make the auto industry a subsidiary of the Sierra Club," he said). And he mentioned your Nov. 12 post "As goes General Motors, so goes the world?" as proof.

Carlstrom says Inhofe actually uttered the words "Andrew Leonard." I was tickled pink two months ago when Paul Krugman namechecked me, but (sorry Paul) I find this far more meaningful. I have long considered Inhofe to be one of the planet Earth's worst enemies. To earn his ire is my greatest achievement as a blogger. I can't decide whether to retire in triumph or change the name of this blog to "Environmentalist Thug."

(As a side note, one can only marvel at the consistent message of Republican senators opposed to any bailout of the Big Three. The first line of argument is, don't help out any more ailing industries. The second line appears to be, if you do help them out, don't require any conditions that might make them more competitive in a carbon-constrained future.)

(And as a further side note, since I am aware that many of my readers are also virulently opposed to any bailout of the Big Three, I will recommend a visit to James Surowiecki's  Balance Sheet blog, where he succinctly explains the economic rationale for a bailout.)

(And lastly -- hot off the wires: California Democrat Henry Waxman, who could be considered the anti-Inhofe on environmental issues, has won election to the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee)

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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