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Ex-Sen. Jim Inhofe has died, McConnell says


Ex-Sen. Jim Inhofe has died, McConnell says

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Sen. James Inhofe arrives for a hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on March 17, 2016, in Washington.


Former US Sen. Jim Inhofe, a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee who was one of the most vocal climate change deniers in the US Senate, has died, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Tuesday.

Inhofe, 89, served in the US Senate from 1994 until he retired in 2023.

“The people he served, a group much larger than the proud residents of the Sooner State, were better for it,” McConnell said in a statement. “Jim’s diligent stewardship of massive infrastructure projects transformed life across the Heartland. His relentless advocacy for American energy dominance unlocked new prosperity across the country. And his laser focus on growing and modernizing the US military strengthened the security of the entire free world.”

Inhofe was a defense hawk who served as the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee in his last years in the Senate.

He is also a former chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, where he drew the ire of environmentalists over his denunciations of climate change as a “hoax.” He famously brought a snowball onto the Senate floor to argue against the existence of climate change.

When he announced his decision to retire in February 2022, Inhofe noted his 55-year political career – from the state legislature to Tulsa mayor to the US House and Senate – began after he realized he had to visit 27 government offices to obtain a dock permit.

“If we wanted the government to work for the people, not against the people, it was up to us to make a change,” Inhofe said at the time.

This story has been updated with additional background information.

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