Inhofe, critical of Obama’s latest proposals, goes to bat for his donors
As the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Inhofe is a major player on transportation issues in Congress.
He singled out for criticism parts of the administration’s proposal that would use so-called livability factors in directing funds, put high-speed rail in the surface transportation program to ensure future funding and get away from formula-based approach
on sending highway trust fund money to states.
“Formulas are what makes it work,” Inhofe said.
Using livability factors, which he described as a “lot of liberal stuff,” and rolling high-speed rail in the surface transportation program would benefit the more urban areas of the country but hurt states like Oklahoma, the senator said.
If the president wants to push high-speed rail, Inhofe said, then he should create another trust fund for it.
“We’ve got to rebuild roads and highways,” he said.
Inhofe said the administration’s bid to pay for the additional spending by closing what it called tax loopholes for the oil and gas industry should be viewed as another attack on that industry.
He accused Obama of using the nation’s desperate need for infrastructure improvements to punish the oil and gas industry and again predicted that effort would fail.
In Inhofe’s world, “livibility” is nothing but oil and gas are everything.
For many years Inhofe has been one of the key politicians representing the interests of the fossil fuel industry.
The great irony (of stupidity) of Inhofe’s remarks is that he sees the “desperate need for infrastructure improvements” as somehow not directly related to the use of oil and thus not to be paid for by the use of that material, yet he is a believer in the “formula” of the highway fund.