06 Jul 2011

Rep. Upton attacks strawmen

Rep. Upton has been heavily criticized for catering to special interests (especially to those donors who have made substantial contributions to his campaign).   It’s also been shown that he is using bad information, misleading his constituents, and flip flopping on his previous positions. Instead of addressing this criticism head on

30 Jun 2011

GOP Presidential Candidates Are Inconsistent in their Religious Values

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="COEXIST by abocon"]COEXIST[/caption]
Representative Michele Bachmann officially joined the crowded field of GOP presidential candidates on Monday. Like many in the race, she identifies herself as a Christian. In fact, in her kick-off speech in Waterloo, Iowa, she described how she gave her heart to Jesus Christ at the age of 16, and how she uses prayer to guide her decision-making.

But there is one area in which Bachmann departs dramatically from her own tradition and that of most Christian denominations in the nation: environmental values. Bachmann calls climate change “nonsense” and she routinely refers to the EPA as “the job-killing organization of America.” And yet the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, to which Bachmann was until recently connected, asserts that caring for the world is “a moral issue.”

Bachmann isn’t alone: In a great new post, Eleni Towns of the Center for America Progress outlines how nearly every GOP presidential candidate follows their church teachings when it comes to abortion and gay marriage, but not when it comes to climate change and environmental protection.

As a Christian myself, I know what it is like to have disagreements with the Church. I don’t concur with every teaching that comes from the pulpit, and I believe that questioning is a vital part of faith. But I am still suspicious about the timing of this GOP heterodoxy.

27 Jun 2011

Romney Needs to Go Further

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has garnered attention lately for refusing to back down on climate change. He recently told a town hall meeting in Manchester New Hampshire: “I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that. It’s important for us to reduce our

14 Jun 2011

The Dangers of Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann – Caricature
Michele Bachmann – Caricature by DonkeyHotey

Representative Michele Bachmann kicked off her presidential campaign last night, and it didn’t take her long to take an extreme position: Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite, called for the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency and labeled it “a job-killing federal agency.” This fringe position shows how willing she is to ignore the facts.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been protecting public health and the environment since its inception forty years ago under President Nixon. By providing realistic safeguards for our health, it helps us be more productive and suffer less illness. That means a stronger economy with fewer days of work lost. That’s real money. For example, the Clean Air Act has prevented an estimated 160,000 deaths in 2010 alone, and the benefits reach approximately $2 trillion in 2020.

The public understands the importance of the EPA’s work: More than 77% of Americans — including 61% of Republicans – say “Congress should let the EPA do its job.”

According to the American Lung Association, Bachmann’s home county has a ozone grade of “C”, and there are more than 4,200 children suffering from asthma, and more than 7,400 people suffering from chronic bronchitis. These are people hurt by the pollutants that the EPA is working to reduce, and it’s still got more work to do.

It bears noting that one of the country’s most polluting power plants is in her district, and it it has been linked to air pollution, water pollution, and illness. This air pollution affects local communities, and USA Today has useful data on the local schools’ poor air quality.

Contrary to what Rep. Bachmann suggests, putting proper pollution controls in place saves lives and creates jobs.

When I see a politician making decisions that are bad for their constituents, I always go to look at their donors. Turns out that Rep. Bachmann has received donations from the PACs of Xcel Energy (which owns that dirty power plant), Koch Industries, and Exxon Mobil.

It’s unfortunate that Rep. Bachmann’s presidential campaign is off to such a wrong-headed start. I hope she’s able to re-examine her position and start making better decisions in the days ahead.

07 Jun 2011

The Dirty Koch Brothers Launch Their Latest Spin Campaign

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Delana Martin by losinghand"]Delana Martin[/caption]

As if we haven’t heard enough from the Dirty Koch Brothers, now comes their latest scheme: This week, Americans for Prosperity — which is founded and funded by dirty energy giant Koch Industries — is launching its “Running on Empty Tour” in an attempt to blame high gas prices on the environmental safety regulations and the Obama Administration. You can be pretty sure they’re not going to talking about how gas prices are affected by Big Oil companies, foreign governments or oil industry speculators like, say, Koch Industries. They’re planning to preach their lies in places like Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri.

These wealthy fat cats are working hard to advance their misguided, dirty agenda which is full of falsehoods and great for their corporate bottom line — but it isn’t good for your family or your community. Here are a few examples of their lies:

27 May 2011

T-PAW Behind the Times

Former Minnesota Tim Pawlenty (R) decided to run for President on Monday. Let’s see if it’s a decision he sticks with. Because when it comes to environmental decisions, he has a habit of repeatedly changing his mind. A quick review of Pawlenty’s career shows that, in the past, he has

11 May 2011

Senator Brown Tries to Distract From the Real Issue

Last week, the League of Women Voters launched an ad campaign to let the public know that Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MI) both voted in April to undermine the Clean Air Act.  The proposal didn’t pass the Senate, but if it had, it would have endangered

04 May 2011

Dirty Money for Dirty Laws

What can nearly $80,000 buy these days? Judging from recent campaign filings, it can buy a handful of oil friendly bills in Congress. During the first quarter of 2011, ExxonMobil contributed $79,000 to members of the two main House committees that are driving the assault on President Obama’s clean energy

22 Apr 2011

Special interest contributions to Rep. Upton dwarf those from his constituents

Since assuming the chairmanship of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Upton’s actions — such as promoting policies that hurt Michigan families or pandering to a big donor at a House hearing on air pollution — illustrate that he is prioritizing special interests’ profits over the well-being of

21 Apr 2011

Rep. Upton pitches softball questions to big donor at House hearing

Its never surprising to see members of Congress toss softball questions to witnesses they’ve summoned to Washington to make political points. But even some jaded eyebrows in Washington were raised last week when Rep. Fred Upton tossed a bunch of softball questions to the chairman of a DTE Energy, a