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Samantha McCann's Posts

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Attention, cap-and-trade fans: the carbon-tax people are not going away

This past weekend, about 500 people gathered at Wesleyan College in Middletown, Conn., for the Pricing Carbon Conference. But most of the participants weren't excited about pricing carbon via cap-and-trade; they were all about carbon taxes. During a debate about whether to implement a cap-and-trade policy or a carbon tax, Dan Lashof of NRDC, proponent of a cap (though an awfully mild proponent: "So I'm supposed to be here as a die-hard believer in cap-and-trade ..."), had but one or two lone supporters in the large audience. The conference was a virtual who's who of carbon-tax supporters. Four members of …

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Energy trumps the environment, poll finds

The majority of Americans prioritize the development of energy supplies over the protection of the environment, a new Gallup poll has found, the first time this has happened in the question's ten-year history. Conducted in early March, before President Obama's announcement that he would open much of America's coastlines to offshore drilling, the poll's results are consistent with the recent historical support for environmental issues, which peaked in 2007 and has been steadily declining ever since. Looking at the complete reversal of environmental and energy priorities over just three years, it's hard not to wonder if Obama was in tune …

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Christian Coalition backs Sen. Graham on climate legislation

Since coming out in support of climate legislation in October, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has faced a lot of vitriol from groups on the right, including Tea Party activists in Charleston. This criticism culminated in a formal censure from Charleston County that lambasted Graham for subverting "Republican leadership and party solidarity for his own benefit" and defiling "the ideals of freedom, rule of law, and fiscal conservatism." But one unlikely group is coming to Graham's defense: the Christian Coalition. The group released a radio ad last week defending the senator's actions. The ad begins with an audio …

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Sen. Blanche Lincoln faces a challenger from the left, but is he any better on the environment?

Blanche Lincoln Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D) is mounting a primary challenge against conservative Democrat Blanche Lincoln for the U.S. Senate seat she's held for two terms. Environmentalists and progressives have it in for Lincoln, angry over her opposition to high-profile Democratic issues like a public option in health care and cap-and-trade. The Sierra Club is running ads bashing her for trying to stall new fuel-economy rules on behalf of Big Oil. (She's been the top recipient of campaign contributions from the oil and gas sector for the past five years.) MoveOn is sending emails calling Lincoln "one of …

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Mark Warner (D-Va.)

Mark Warner Sen. Mark Warner recognizes the need to take action on climate change, but wants to ensure that legislation will not negatively impact the economy. Warner seems a safe bet to support the Kerry-Boxer climate bill. In recent months, he has underlined the severity of the climate crisis and the steps necessary to solve it. Speaking to the National Energy Summit and International Dialogue in September, Warner strongly emphasized the need to take immediate action: “The idea that we’re going to, for one more year, delay trying to take action on this critically important issue around energy would be …

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Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)

Kay HaganKay Hagan, junior senator from North Carolina, is not a shoo-in on the Kerry-Boxer climate bill, but she appears to be leaning toward supporting it. When asked in mid-October if she would support a climate bill with cap-and-trade, the senator replied, “We’re certainly talking about it. The Kerry-Boxer bill is ... out there but it’s not complete yet. So I’m certainly going to have to wait to look at the bill. I certainly say that climate change is real; I am extremely concerned about it. And I want to do what we need to do to be sure our …

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Jon Tester (D-Mont.)

Jon TesterThe junior senator from Montana, Jon Tester has stayed relatively quiet on climate legislation and thus remains in the “fence-sitter” category. In late October, Tester expressed interest in Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (D-Wash.) climate bill, which thus far hasn't gotten any traction in the Senate: "I'd like to see what Maria’s got. I'm not real happy with [Kerry-Boxer]. I don't want something real, real complicated." But Tester does believe action on climate change is necessary, as he told the Montana Audubon Society in June: “I think climate change is real, and we need to do something about it. We also …

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George LeMieux (R-Fla.)

George LeMieuxNew Sen. George LeMieux -- appointed in September by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) to serve through the end of 2010, finishing out the term of retired Mel Martinez -- has yet to vote on any key legislation that might give us clues as to whether he would support the Kerry-Boxer climate bill.  He said after his appointment that he would want to study specific climate legislation before coming down on one side or the other, while also stressing that the nation needs to "move toward renewable energy,” which he said includes nuclear power. LeMieux previously served as chief …