Inhofe distances himself from aide's email to oil lobbyists

Industry groups had long pushed for more coordination of energy regulations, warning of overlapping and unnecessary rules.

But Banks, in the letter, told two-dozen industry lobbyists that the task force amounted to a “stunt” aimed at winning over the oil lobby, which has a frosty relationship with the White House.

“Moving forward, we — your partners — would kindly ask for better coordination and communication from you to prevent the Obama administration from pulling similar stunts in the future,” Banks wrote, according to National Journal.

Though Inhofe distanced himself from the email Tuesday, he declined to distance himself from the oil industry.

Asked if he is rejects the idea that he is a partner of industry, Inhofe said, "I didn’t say that. I just said that’s not the word I would have used."

Inhofe is one of the Senate’s most outspoken critics of Obama’s energy policies. Inhofe and other Republicans — both in Congress and on the campaign trail — have worked to paint Obama as the enemy of the domestic oil-and-gas production.