A look at the politicians and propositions that will do the most to help our nation with the clean energy race and avoid the worst of climate change.
As you get ready to pull the lever tomorrow, perhaps you're wondering which politicians and propositions are going to do the most to help our nation win the clean energy race, quickly build out the new energy economy of the 21st Century, and avoid the worst fates of climate change.
Now there's more to politics than climate and energy, of course, but if you are wondering who might be best for the climate and clean energy cause, I've done my best to collect the best links and resources from around the web to help figure that out.
This is far from a comprehensive resource, though. (I'm afraid nothing truly thorough exists, complete with down ballot items and races like the all important Secretaries of State and various propositions and referenda.) And we would never expect or advise anyone to blindly follow the suggestions or endorsements of anyone else, so please just consider this a starting point for your voting research.
First off, for incumbents, check out the results of the most important roll call climate votes of the past year:
- In the House, H.R.2454, or the Waxman-Markey ACES bill passed 219-212. ("Yes" can be considered the "pro-climate" vote, if you will.)
- In the Senate, Lisa Murkowski's so-called "Dirty Air Act" bill was defeated 53-47. (Here, "no" is considered the "pro-climate" vote.) \n
For more on both chambers of Congress, over in the Think Progress Wonk Room, Brad Johnson has identified the "fifteen top House races in which a strong supporter for action to reduce global warming pollution is being challenged by a denier of the threat of global warming." They are:
- VA-5 Rep. Tom Perriello versus Robert Hurt\n
- MD-1 Rep. Frank Kratovil versus Andy Harris\n
- CO-4 Rep. Betsy Markey versus Cory Gardner\n
- NM-2 Rep. Harry Teague versus Steve Pearce\n
- NY-19 Rep. John Hall versus Nan Hayworth\n
- MI-7 Rep. Mark Schauer versus Tim Walberg\n
- PA-11 Rep. Paul Kanjorski versus Lou Barletta\n
- IN-9 Rep. Baron Hill versus Todd Young\n
- NH-1 Rep. Carol Shea-Porter v Frank Guinta\n
- IA-3 Rep. Leonard Boswell versus Brad Zaun\n
- CA-11 Rep. Jerry McNerney versus David Harmer\n
- IL-14 Rep. Bill Foster versus Randy Hultgren\n
- FL-22 Rep. Ron Klein versus Allen West\n
- IL-17 Rep. Phil Hare versus Bobby Schilling\n
- NM-1 Rep. Martin Heinrich versus Jon Barela\n \n
Click on any of the links above for Johnson's individual race analysis, or here for his entire breakdown.
And here Johnson does the same for six key Senate races "in which a strong vote for climate runs a serious risk of being replaced by a global warming denier":
- Pennsylvania: Joe Sestak versus Pat Toomey \n
- Colorado: Michael Bennet versus Ken Buck \n
- Washington: Patty Murray versus Dino Rossi \n
- Nevada: Harry Reid versus Sharron Angle \n
- California: Barbara Boxer versus Carly Fiorina\n
- Wisconsin: Russ Feingold versus Ron Johnson\n \n
- Iowa: Terry Branstad versus Gov. Chet Culver\n
- Kansas: Sam Brownback versus Tom Holland \n
- Oklahoma: Mary Fallin versus Lt. Gov. Jari Askins\n
- Wyoming: Matt Mead versus Leslie Petersen\n
- Florida: Alex Sink versus Rick Scott\n
- Illinois: Pat Quinn versus Bill Brady\n
- Minnesota: Mark Dayton, Tom Emmer, Tom Horner\n
- Wisconsin: Tom Barrett versus Scott Walker\n
- Ohio: Ted Strickland versus John Kasich\n \n
Here's Johnson's entire rundown of the strange climate-denying phenomenon in the GOP gubernatorial ranks, where only the Republican candidates for governor in Vermont and Hawaii recognize the threat of climate change.
Another great resource is the League of Conservation Voters and all of its individual state chapters. First, here's the full list of Congressional candidates—House and Senate—that the LCV Action Fund formally endorsed.
LCV also has their trademark "Dirty Dozen" of candidates who "consistently vote against clean energy and conservation and are running in races in which LCV has a serious chance to affect the outcome." Available now at national and state level.
For more regional specifics, the individual State LCV members do an incredible job of reaching farther down the ballot in their endorsements. Check out, for instance, this ridiculously thorough endorsement list—that includes U.S. House and Senate, plus State Senate and Assembly, Attorney General, and Governor—from LCV's New York chapter.
And if you're feeling generous and want to put your money where your ballot is, you can use their GiveGreen tool to donate across an entire slate of environmentally-minded candidates in crucial races.
Finally, I point you to Jason Kowalski's recent post on the 1Sky blog, which does as good a job as anything I've seen of breaking down exactly how climate change hangs in the balance in tomorrow's elections.
And while you're at it, go take the Energy Action Coalition's PowerVote pledge:
I pledge to vote on November 2nd for clean energy jobs and healthy communities, and to move beyond dirty and dangerous energy like offshore drilling.\n
But above all else, whatever you do, whoever you support, whatever your cause, just be sure that you do get out and vote. These midterms are nothing to be sitting out.
Image: Energy Action Coalition