Sen. Mary Landrieu has been a thorn in the side of enviros for most of her 12 years in the Senate representing Louisiana, a big oil and gas state. Last year, the League of Conservation Voters added her to its Dirty Dozen list of the worst environmental offenders in Congress. During her bid for reelection last year, her website proudly touted a quote from the Baton Rouge Advocate calling her “the most fervent pro-drilling Democrat in the Senate.”
Landrieu has maintained her claim to that title this year, voting against the energy bill approved by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in June because she wanted a larger share of offshore-drilling revenues for coastal states and more support for nuclear power.
She may well vote against a climate bill too. Last year, she was one of only four Democrats who opposed letting the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act go to the Senate floor for a vote. This year, she said she hasn’t ruled out filibustering climate legislation. “I’m going to keep an open mind, but I am not committing to any procedural straitjackets one way or another,” she said.
A spokesperson for Landrieu said recently that the senator isn’t too keen on cap-and-trade. “Sen. Landrieu recognizes that we need to address the problem of climate change,” the spokesperson told Roll Call. “But she doesn’t necessarily think that cap-and-trade is the most efficient or most cost-effective way of addressing climate change.”
Landrieu didn’t like the cap-and-trade bill that the House passed in June, but might be swayed to support a Senate version if it incorporates more support for oil and gas drilling. “I just generally don’t like many things about the House bill,” she said recently. “But I’m open to discuss how we can move forward to make our energy grid greener, how we can move to the next generation of energy supply, and most importantly how to get American energy secure. That goal cannot be done without increasing traditional oil and gas production.”
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