Is Kansas candidate for governor earth-friendly?
Monday, July 27, 2009 - 18:38
Only 15 months away from gubernatorial elections and Kansans have one candidate to chose from: Samuel Brownback. He is a very well-known politican in Kansas, and he even went to my university (K-State). But what type of candidate is he?
A far-right Republican, Brownback was elected Senator from Kansas in 1996, and he previously served as House Representative and Minister of Agriculture. He is strongly against abortion and high government intervention. Earlier this month Brownback introduced a controversial bill to ban human-animal hybrids, he doesn't support Judge Sotomayor or President Obama's health care reform. Also, he has a history of supporting anti-environmental policies.
In 2005, the conservative group Republicans for Environmental Protection, which rates Republicans on their support for pro-environmental legislation, gave Brownback a score of seven percent. In 2006, he only supported two of seven critical issues qualified as earth-friendly by the group, scoring him a 29 percent. Brownback was criticized for voting against an amendment to increase budget for efficiency and renewable-resource programs, and also for supporting oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in "sensitive marine waters" in the Gulf of Mexico.
Brownback did better in 2007 and 2008, scoring 24 and 57 percent respectively. He continued supporting off-shore drilling in the ANWR and voted in favor of an amendment to speed up the permitting process for refinery facilities expansion and to authorize funds for coal-to-liquid development. He opposed setting standards for higher fuel economy and voted against an amendment designed to reduce gas emissions.
The League of Conservation voters, another environmental group rating senators and representatives, gives Brownback even lower scores. Although he did improve from 12 percent in 2005 to 18 percent in 2008, he was highly criticized for voting against oil and gas smokestacks in mercury regulations and for opposing a cap-and-trade regulation designed to reduce 57 to 63 percent carbon emissions below 2005 levels by 2050. "Absolutely and adamantly opposed to cap and trade," he said as published in an article of the New York Times. "It's one of the worst ideas I can imagine you can force on the economy at this point in time."
Hopefully his environmental standards will keep improving for when he runs for governor in 2010. Or we can still hope someone else, someone with greener ideals, will be brave enough to step up. What do you think?
Complete voting records can be found here. Check how other
politicians are doing in the REP website or LCV website. U.S.
Photo credit: GuessThePresident/Flickr
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