Thursday, September 09, 2010

Republican Candidates Wield Cap and Trade as Political Weapon

If you live in states like Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia or Kentucky, you may have already seen them: new political hatchet ads attacking Democrats and even some moderate Republicans for support of Congressional cap and trade bills.

According to E&E News ($usbcription required), the climate policy, which narrowly passed the House of Representatives last year before stalling in the Senate, is the latest weapon wielded by conservative Republican Congressional candidates across the country, who are trying to ride a wave of anger over perceived, out-of-control big government policies into office.

E&E reports:

Candidates in Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky are all using cap and trade to boost their profiles. Republicans who voted for the House energy bill, which included cap-and-trade provisions, are being assailed by conservative opponents. Among them is Delaware Rep. Michael Castle, who is being attacked by opponent Christine O'Donnell.

"It's a very big deal," said Brian Walsh, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The issue is already drawing comparisons to last year's health care bill, which was a catalyst for conservative anger and launched the tea party movement. Conservatives are pegging cap and trade as an energy tax, saying it would increase prices.
If support for cap and trade is perceived as a key contributor to the political demise of vulnerable moderate Democrats (or even Republicans), count it as yet another nail in the coffin for the repeatedly-failed policy. New, innovative policy strategy will be necessary to secure climate and clean energy progress in the coming Congress...

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