Vying for Kennedy's Senate Seat, Scott Brown Does Major Flip Flop on Climate


Photo via NY Daily News

The Senate race in Massachusetts to determine who will replace Ted Kennedy's seat is deadlocked: despite the fact the MA is typically a deeply blue state, a poor campaign run by Democrat Martha Coakley and waning enthusiasm for the current administration has helped Republican Scott Brown climb into the lead in some polls. Media outlets are routinely noting how his victory could be a major blow to health care reform--but what impact would it have on clean energy reform? Brown has, after all, already flip flopped from being an advocate of curbing greenhouse gas emissions to embracing the GOP party line--he now flat out opposes clean energy reform. Observe Scott Brown just over a year ago, via the Boston Globe:

In 2008, he voted with the Legislature for Massachusetts to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a pact among Northeastern states requiring power plants to reduce emissions or to buy credits from cleaner industries.

"Reducing carbon dioxide emission in Massachusetts has long been a priority of mine,'' Brown said in a news release at the time. "Passing this legislation is an important step . . . towards improving our environment.''

But now, Brown conveniently opposes clean energy reform--both the bipartisan legislation set for Senate debate in March, and now the RGGI that he himself voted into existence.
This is what Brown has to say on reducing carbon emissions today: (from the Globe) "It's interesting. I think the globe is always heating and cooling,'' he said. "It's a natural way of ebb and flow. The thing that concerns me lately is some of the information I've heard about potential tampering with some of the information.'' He goes on to say he'd need "accurate information ... unbiased by scientists with no agenda," before decided how to act. Which is what politicians tend to say when they mean, "I am going to do absolutely nothing to address climate change," in order to satisfy industry special interests. Never mind that there already is a vast scientific consensus agreeing that human-caused climate change is a very real threat.

The Globe sums up Brown's such shift:

Last week he embraced waterboarding. Last month he expressed skepticism that climate change is being caused by humans. He has even denounced two national proposals that he supported in Massachusetts as a lawmaker - mandatory health care coverage and a cap-and-trade system to cut global warming gases. "I think he is moving to the right,'' said Marion Just, a political science professor at Wellesley College. He seems to be looking more to the Tea Party protesters than to the traditional Republican base here in the state, Just said.
By making these concessions, he's made himself acceptable to the GOP base and eligible for backing by the RNC--and the campaign funding that accompanies both.

And tomorrow, we'll see whether he gets elected to the Senate.

Massachusetts voters: if you care about climate issues, and believe clean energy reform is important--vote Coakley tomorrow. No matter how lousy her campaign has been--the last thing we need is another anti-science ideologue protecting coal and oil interests in the Senate. We've got enough of those already, don't you think?

Via Climate Progress
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Tags: Carbon Emissions | Congress | Global Climate Change | United States

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