Today, a Republican Senator joined with Democrats representing coastal states threatened by the massive oil spill in voicing continued alarms over including off-shore drilling in a climate and energy bill. As new reports reveal that the oil spill is now five times worse than estimated: “We need to move heaven and earth to stop this from becoming an environmental disaster.” said Florida’s Republican Senator, George LeMieux.
“The continued failure to stop the leak threatens to wreak untold damage on Florida’s coastlines” says Republican Senator LeMieux – albeit along with his diatribes against “government spending” – on his YouTube web page.
“The federal government needs to make this their immediate, number one priority.”
There is an economic cost of failure to keep the Everglades safe. The huge oil spill could prove to be a tipping point; switching a Republican vote from dirty energy to clean energy.
One of the trinkets always offered to get Republican votes on attempted clean energy legislation has always been compromises on dirty energy, such as off-shore oil drilling. Never mind that it does not help the climate or the environment.
Because most get elected to represent largely empty states dominated by fossil energy interests; what Republicans always ask for is more dirty energy support and the Democrats always have to offer at least a little dirty energy in clean energy bills to get their votes, so they can pass clean energy bills. Sounds crazy, but that’s how it works.
With the current 41 Republican majority (there’s only 59 Democrats, and they need 60 to counter the ruling corporate party filibuster that prevents a simple majority up-or-down vote on anything) Democrats now need to win about 3 Republicans.
They need the 1 to get to 60, plus 2 more to offset their own 2 persistently dirty energy voters: Landrieu who represents the oil industry in Louisiana, and Nelson of Nebraska, whose job it is to look out for the interests of Nebraska billionaire Warren Buffet. So we need 3 Republican votes to pass the climate bill.
Till now we have not had those 3 Republican votes. Even Graham has yet to cast his first actual vote for clean energy. Only Snowe and Collins (of 55% renewably powered Maine) have always voted for truly environmental environmental legislation. But now, a new voice is speaking up.
“The tragedy off the coast of Louisiana shows we need to be asking a lot more tough questions of Big Oil,” Mr. Nelson told the New York Times. “I think we need to look back over 10 years or so to see if the record denies the industry’s claims about safety and technology.”
Indeed. He could move to the environmental side of environmental legislation. The climate legislation under consideration now awaits his assistance to move it in an environmental direction, towards clean, safe, enduring, fuel-free, permanent, home-made, healthy, renewable energy for the USA.
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