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Former Senator Jim Inhofe, An Oklahoma Republican, Dead At 89

Last Updated 2 weeks by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

Former Senator Jim Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who once threw a snowball onto the Senate floor to make a point about climate change, has died.

Inhofe passed away on Tuesday, July 9, after suffering a stroke. He was 89.

Inhofe’s death was confirmed by former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former Inhofe staffer.

“Former Sen Jim Inhofe passed away this morning. He was a devout Christian and family man. He was also devoted to his former staff who he considered his extended family,” Wheeler wrote on X.

Inhofe called climate change a “hoax” and frequently sounded off against the global warming narrative, at one point even bringing a snowball onto the Senate floor to argue that human activity does not cause global warming.

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“In case we have forgotten, because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, I ask the chair, you know what this is?” Inhofe said during a floor speech in February 2015 as he produced a snowball from a bag beside his podium.

“It’s a snowball,” he said. “From outside here. So it’s very, very cold out.”

“So here, Mr. President, catch this,” Inhofe added as he tossed the snowball.

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As chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Inhofe was a vocal critic of over-the-top environmental regulation. Some of his staffers went on to be influential in environmental policy in the Trump administration’s EPA.

Inhofe was friendly with former California Sen. Barbara Boxer, a staunch liberal Democrat, despite their differences. The two worked together on several major highway and water infrastructure bills.

Inhofe was the longest-serving senator from Oklahoma and was in office from 1994 to 2023.

He retired last year after 29 years in the Senate. Prior to his Senate career, he was a congressman from Oklahoma from 1987 to 1994. Before being elected to the federal government, he was mayor of Tulsa for six years and a member of the state House and then the state Senate.

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In his 20s, Inhofe was drafted into the Army and served about a year.

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