Virginia Beach goes with the Republican tide
As the Republican (insert natural disaster metaphor here) rocks the political landscape, the new crowd could mean big problems for climate change legislation.
Thursday, November 4, 2010 - 01:56
POLITICS: John Boehner is the soon-to-be Speaker of the House, who will bring with him divided government and a new agenda on energy and climate. (Photo: House GOP Leader/Flickr)
In Virginia Beach, Republican Scott Rigell defeated incumbent Glenn Nye, adding to a large list of incumbent Democrats who will be leaving office. In the United States Congress there is an early expectation that very little legislation will get through in this hyper-partisan, gridlocked environment. This has obvious implications for energy and climate reform, which already faced bleak prospects.
The number of climate change deniers is certain to go up substantially in the next Congress, and Rep. Joe Barton (who is infamous for his apology to BP for a "government shakedown" after the company agreed to set aside a fund for damages done to Gulf victims) may lead the House Energy Committee. While the Democrats still have a lame duck session to try and pass something on energy, any advances on the environment will likely have to be done straight from EPA regulation (at least until after the next elections, if not even longer).
The environment must not be drowned out as an issue and science must not be ignored when it's inconvenient. We need responsible leaders who can cooperate to solve the nation's and the world's problems. Scott Rigell has advocated becoming energy independent and supporting all types of energy, though action is something very different from words. I can only hope Scott Rigell and other elected leaders around the country can look past politics and pass some sensible reforms for this nation and this planet.
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