Fix or Ditch Lieberman-Warner: Reason 327: It’s smart politics!

Barbara Boxer has been a real leader on Global Warming issues in the US Senate. A leader who suffered for far too long under the ‘tutelage’ of Senator James Inhofe (R-Exxon).  Sadly, for whichever set of reasons, Senator Boxer has being working hard to corral votes in support of the fatally flawed Lieberman-Warner Coal Subsidy Act and reacting strongly against those who have the audacity to question the bill and her approach to it.   The bill, however, is getting growing notice and the questioning of Senator Boxer’s approach to it is spreading.  

Amid this spread, Matt Stoller at Open Left strongly makes a good point about why Lieberman-Warner, as it now stands,  is worth standing against:  voters don’t support the fossil fuel industry and standing up to fossil fuel polluters makes good politics. 

Exhibit A:  Donna Edwards’ victory against Al Wynn.  Check out this Edwards’ ad and this much fancier ad by the SEIU COPE.

And, perhaps the Edwards’ victory (which they helped contribute to) has emboldened the Sierra Club to speak even more forcefully against Lieberman-Warner, bringing their powerful voice to join Greenpeace  in making it clear that Senator Boxer was simply wrong in stating this about Friends of the Earth:

“They’re sort of the defeatist group out there. They’ve been defeatists from day one. And it’s unfortunate. They’re isolated among the environmental groups.”

No, Senator Boxer, Friends of the Earth is far from “isolated among the environmental groups.”  And, as we’re seeing with a growing amount of attention to inadequacies of Lieberman-Warner to pursue core basic principles re Climate Change legislation, these environmental organizations are ever less isolated in the progressive community.

Reason 327 to Fix or Ditch Lieberman-Warner? It’s smart politics.

And, for those of you who are Barbara Boxer constituents, perhaps you might want to pass the following message to her from D-Day, me, and you:

A “deal” on a bad cap and trade bill … would lock in a giveaway to polluters on the order of trillions, and make it very difficult for the next President to do anything about it. If you care about the environment, I think you need to let Sen. Boxer know that only a real climate change bill that hits the necessary targets is sufficient. Otherwise, she has to walk away from this.

Senator Boxer, let us remind you that elections have consequences. Let’s work hard, together, to ensure that the November elections have positive implications for the planet and let the Global Warming legislation flow from that.

5 responses to “Fix or Ditch Lieberman-Warner: Reason 327: It’s smart politics!

  1. Fancy schmancy. The first ad “stakeout” is a lot more compelling than the slot machine ad. To see Al Wynn walk into that building and come out smiling just makes my stomach churn. Good riddance.

  2. Pete.

    I tend to agree. The fancier ad frustrated me with the combination of legitimate issue with simplistic and, to me, cheap political shot: “Voted for Pay Raise 8 Times”. That angers me if a Representative voted against Minimum Wage increases and other things that spread equity in the country, only taking care of him/herself.

    Now, relative to cost of living in DC and comparable salaries, it is hard to argue that members of Congress are horribly overpaid, unless one wants to promote corruption.

    Long and short … the stake out ad cost far less to produce and is far more effective for you … and me.

    As per “good riddance”, the district and the nation will be far better served by Donna Edwards than Al Wynn.

  3. Good political sense? Are you kidding? I’m afraid not. I’ve read some of your blog now — and while your passion is clear, your political strategy is not. Just how do you propose to get 60 votes (in the Senate) for something more stringent than the Lieberman-Warner bill — what is your vote count — or have you bothered to do one?

    You complain about Environmental Defense not spending their energy against Inhofe — just when have FoE or the other left leaning enviro groups gone after Inhofe — or Exxon for that matter? These groups oppose biofuels more than oil. I know — I’ve talked with them.

    I am someone who became a convert on the whole climate change issue BECAUSE of Environmental Defense — they were the only group willing to work with people who don’t already agree with them — and who don’t happen to live on a coast. They understand how the political process really works — and that you do need bi-partisanship to get anything done.

    It feels very good to be hyper-righteous and not care a fig about the economy — but it doesn’t get you 1 VOTE CLOSER to passing a bill. To do that, you must engage in the dreaded “compromise” and strengthen the bill over time. Its the way our political system was SET UP to work . . . and when you make the perfect the enemy of the good — you know who you help? Exxon and Inhofe!!!

    My fear is that all the children, grandchildren, etc are now on the verge of being sold out by the so-called environmentalists who would rather play politics than get started solving this difficult problem.

    I’m working to bring more of the “other side” into the right place on this issue — but that can’t happen when groups like FoE and Greenpeace . . . and you, stand in the way.

    Here’s hoping you are open to working together.

    Sara Hessenflow Harper
    http://www.ecopragmatism.blogspot.com

  4. Sara,

    1. With today’s Senate and today’s President, we might not be able to do better than Lieberman-Warner. Hmm … perhaps that is a point for why to build momentum for something meaningful and appropriate in 2009.

    2. Read over what you wrote. You are, in essence, asserting that we should subordinate reality (science andotherwise) to a read of political reality. I am arguing that we fight to change that ‘political reality’ which, by the way, has radically changed in the past year (and past several years) when it comes to Global Warming.

    3. Your “make the perfect the enemy of the good” is a false description. I am making the barely adequate/reasonable the enemy of simply inadequate. Lieberman-Warner does not meet scientific standards for a 50% avoidance of catastrophic climate change and its approach will lower the effectiveness and increase the costs of dealing with Global Warming. Want to hurt the economy: go with Lieberman-Warner.

    4. I am, to put it directly, digusted by your insinuation of “don’t give a fig about the economy”. With that line you are (a) buying into the false argument that dealing with Global Warming is harmful to the economy and (b) clearly showing that you have, at most, a very limited understanding of what I have written and what I work on. Try taking a look at:

    * https://energysmart.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/global-powerhouse-in-green-energy/

    https://energysmart.wordpress.com/2008/01/24/energize-america-via-a-stimulus-package/#more-471

    https://energysmart.wordpress.com/2008/01/16/1e-making-green-by-helping-others-go-green/

    If only one, read: https://energysmart.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/energizing-america-the-e2-solution-path-the-energy-speech-for-the-next-president/

  5. Are you kidding Sara? Just when has Friends of the Earth gone after Exxon? How about two weeks before you wrote this comment: http://action.foe.org/pressRelease.jsp?press_release_KEY=334&t=2007_PRESS.dwt

    By the way, by many accounts, biofuels are worse for the environment than oil. I’d be hard to come up with a quicker way to get rid of the planet’s remaining forest carbon sinks than the deforestation being carried out to grow biofuels crops. What exactly is your problem with environmental groups opposing fuels that are … bad for the environment?

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