Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LCV to U.S. House: No endorsement in 2010 for those who vote no on Waxman-Markey

Our Outreach & Advocacy Director, Rick Hegdahl, is in The Other Washington this week helping the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) lobby for passage of H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as the Waxman/Markey bill. This morning LCV made some waves by announcing in a letter to U.S. Representatives that it will not support any member for reelection in 2010 who votes against the bill on final passage. Here's an excerpt from their letter:
In light of the tremendous importance of this legislation, LCV has made the unprecedented decision that we will not endorse any member of the House of Representatives in the 2010 election cycle who votes against final passage of this historic bill.

Of course, support for H.R. 2454 alone is not enough action to secure an endorsement from LCV. As always, we will consider many other factors, including viability, vulnerability, recent and lifetime LCV scores, and demonstrated environmental leadership, in our final endorsement decisions.

After far too many years of inaction, missed opportunities, and major steps backwards, H.R. 2454 will begin to move our country toward a new energy future by putting a firm limit on global warming pollution, improving energy efficiency, and investing in renewable energy.
H.R. 2454 has been described by many in the environmental movement as imperfect but necessary.

The bill, which admittedly isn't very ambitious or inspiring, is really the only viable vehicle available at the present time for getting something halfway decent to the President's desk. Partly that's because solving the climate crisis seems to be nobody's first priority. At least nobody's on Capitol Hill.

(Which is a shame, because, as the good folks at the Alliance for Climate Protection have pointed out, economic security and environmental protection go hand in hand. We could heat up our economy and cool down our planet in one stroke if we were willing to act. Trouble is, industries that don't like the idea of weaning ourselves off of the fossil fuel products they sell have allies in Congress who are experts at obstructing progressive legislation.)

Incremental progress, in the end, is better than no progress at all. That's why LCV and NPI are supporting Waxman/Markey, and why LCV is putting so much on the line to ensure the success of this bill. Winning passage in the House will be tough, but the battle in the House is merely a warmup act for the truly difficult fight: getting Waxman/Markey through the U.S. Senate.


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