The Environment? Is That an Election Issue?

Feb 27, 2008 7:38am

It’s part of my job to be on a lot of organizations’ mailing lists.  This mailing came from the Sierra Club:"Two weeks ago John McCain was the only Senator to duck a crucial vote on the future of clean energy in America — dooming to failure the measure that would have helped make renewable energy more affordable and accessible. Now it turns out this missed vote is part of a pattern. "Last week, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) released the 2007 National Environmental Scorecard giving Senator McCain a score of ZERO. According to the scorecard, McCain was the only member of Congress to skip all 15 crucial environmental votes scored by LCV." Elections are complicated for many interest groups, which lose tax-free status if they get involved in political campaigns.  The Sierra Club has long had a different arrangement, which is why it already has a list of congressional endorsements (look HERE), and took that swing at Sen. McCain. The League of Conservation Voters, which it cites, is one of those groups that rates Senators and Representatives for how closely their floor votes matched the interests of the interest group.  But it’s somewhat more charitable in its characterization of the candidates: "The presidential candidates’ scores all suffered from the occupational hazard of absenteeism.  Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) missed four votes each in 2007, although both made a point of being on hand for the key vote that would have allowed a version of the energy bill to move forward that included a provision to repeal billions of dollars in tax breaks for big oil and put that money toward clean energy programs.  Clinton’s score in 2007 was 73 percent (87 percent lifetime); Obama’s was 67 percent (86 percent lifetime). "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) scored 0 percent in 2007 (24 percent lifetime) due to missing all 15 votes scored, including the key vote on repealing tax giveaways to big oil — a measure that failed by only one vote." More from them HERE.  And you can go HERE to see how the people you sent to Washington voted on environmental issues. Just for contrast, the National Taxpayers Union, which obviously has different issues on its priority list, gave Sen. McCain an 88% rating — and a grade of "A" — for 2006.  Sens. Obama and Clinton got 18% and 17% respectively, both good for grades of "F." The LCV does say it wishes reporters would ask environmental questions: "In 190 interviews and debates, TV’s top five political talk show hosts have asked only 8 questions about one of the greatest challenges of our time – global climate change." Meanwhile, as we reported back on Feb. 6, the push for a debate on science-technology issues continues to gather support from university presidents.  But not from the candidates.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus