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Rantings of a Radical Activist
Posted by Radical Activist in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jul 21st 2010, 12:28 PM
Obama's campaign primarily focused on four top priorities: health care, climate change, getting out of Iraq, and economic recovery.

He passed major legislation on all of those issues and the Iraq withdrawal is happening. His top remaining priority is passing a climate change bill through the US Senate. He has mentioned it in every major speech. In the face of this final big hurdle, the Governor of West Virginia appointed a replacement for Robert Byrd who promises to join Republicans and the anti-science climate change deniers in opposing the cap-and-trade bill passed by the House.

If Byrd's replacement, Carte Goodwin, succeeds in blocking a major energy bill it will add to voter disappointment with Congress and hurt Democrats in Congressional races this year. Here's what the Senate's newest member said:

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/07/16/16...
"That being said, with regard to cap and trade, I will say this: From what I've seen of the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House of Representatives and other proposals pending in the Senate, they simply are not right for West Virginia."
That answer received a round of applause from those in attendance at the press conference, including Gov. Joe Manchin (D), who appointed Goodwin.


"I will not support any piece of legislation that threatens any West Virginia job, any West Virginia family, or jeopardizes the long-term economic security of this state," Goodwin said.


One of Byrd's great qualities was his ability to admit his past mistakes and then make a courageous stand even if it was politically unpopular. For the last several years of his career he came to realize the mistake of his unquestioning support for the coal industry. He recognized that the transition to a clean energy economy needs to happen and that West Virginia must find a way to grow economically in the new reality rather than fight it. Being replaced by a corporate stooge for the coal industry is an insult to Bryd's legacy.
Here's what Byrd said last year.

To be part of any solution, one must first acknowledge a problem. To deny the mounting science of climate change is to stick our heads in the sand and say “deal me out.” West Virginia would be much smarter to stay at the table.

The 20 coal-producing states together hold some powerful political cards. We can have a part in shaping energy policy, but we must be honest brokers if we have any prayer of influencing coal policy on looming issues important to the future of coal like hazardous air pollutants, climate change, and federal dollars for investments in clean coal technology.


http://blogs.wvgazette.com/coaltattoo/2009... /


Republicans know that their best opportunity in November is to keep Democrats frustrated and disappointed by blocking Obama's top legislative priorities. The Governor of West Virginia just did Republicans a huge favor with his appointment of Goodwin.

No age group supported Obama by larger margins than voters under 25. Do Senate Democrats realize how important climate change is to young voters? Do they realize the consequences of not taking action on the mandate voters gave Obama in 2008? Do they realize that no one has a better plan for reviving the economy than creating millions of clean energy jobs?
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Radical Activist
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