Grist Gives James Inhofe Top Marks on Climate Change Transparency - Other Senators Don't Fare So Well


photo: Laura Padgett via flickr

There's little to commend Oklahoma Senator James "Climate Change is a Hoax" Inhofe on when it comes to his views on the environment and energy policy -- but at least you know where he stands on them. For other senators things aren't so clear. Based on their websites, their stated positions aren't exactly front and center. In fact, Grist surveyed them and found them decidedly lacking:Inhofe Has Strong Opinions & He'll Tell You About Them
OK. I lured you in with the James Inhofe bit and Grist does indeed give him an 'A' for the clarity of his climate change position:

There's a clear link to his views on energy and environment policy from the homepage, climate is prominently included in that; his view on the scientific consensus on climate change is spelled out, as is whether he thinks cap and trade is needed, and action on climate more broadly; on other green issues, the only ones which Grist surveyed on which Inhofe didn't stake a clear opinion were mountaintop removal coal mining, green jobs training programs, and tax breaks for installation of renewable energy.

Other Senators Less Clear on Where They Stand
As for the other 98 senators surveyed (Al Franken wasn't included as he didn't have a site yet), clear expression of energy and environment policy didn't seem a priority -- over half received a grade of C or worse and 25 senators didn't even mention the subject directly on their websites. About two-thirds ventured an opinion on cap and trade.

Overall, senators from the Pacific states (including Hawaii and Alaska) and those from the Northeast fared the best; those from the South and Southwest fared the worst.

Democrats scored slightly higher than Republicans for the their eco-transparency, but only slightly -- Dems had an average score (out of 25 total points) of 14.5, while Repubs averaged 11.9.

A clear majority of senators were willing to state their opinion on increasing funding for renewable energy and biofuels. About half put their position on clean coal clearly out there, fewer (40) addressed expanding nuclear power. A mere nine senators would stake out a position on mountaintop removal coal mining -- and only two from states directly affected by it.

Some Will Tell You What They Think..
At the top of the class were Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Christopher Dodd (D-CT) Johnny Isakson (R-GA), John Kerry (D-MA), and the aforementioned Inhofe.

...And Some Will Tell You What You Want To Hear
Standing on the bottom rungs: Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Roland Burris (D-IL), Jim Webb (D-VA), and Tom Harkin (D-IA).

In total, if clarity of environmental position were a college course, 50 senators would have failed.

Read the full original post at Grist for the methodology and to see how your senators scored.

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Tags: Coal | Congress | Energy | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Solutions | Renewable Energy | United States

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