Commenter: New leaders in the making in coal country
… how bout a little kudos for Zach Space and Charlie Wilson of Ohio for leaning toward the green side? Both represent a whole bunch of Appalachian Ohio counties that rely on coal (and on burning it to power the rest of the state). Yet these two went out on a limb, publicly expressing willingness to attempt to go green to a degree at least and to do what they can to make our coal industry better. I’m in Space’s generally very Republican district, and he could be a model of how young new Democratic reps even here in coal country can help all you coastal folks, who are on the average better off than Appalachian Ohio and W. Va. and who also have less at stake when coal gets costlier, as it will and should.
I haven’t compared lawmakers by age to see whether younger or less-experienced lawmakers kowtow any less (or more) to fossil fuel interests. It’s an interesting possibility. For what it’s worth, the length of Congressional service for the nine House Democrats is 12.5 years.
Grist commenters aren’t the only ones taking note of coal-country votes for the climate bill last week. Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association, scolded Space and Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) in a press release yesterday:
It’s very disappointing that Representatives Space and Sutton voted to send a bill out of committee that will have a drastic impact on Ohio’s economy by eliminating jobs in eastern and southern Ohio and increasing consumer costs throughout the state.
… Our state can ill afford to have legislation approved that further threatens our fragile economy.
Expect rural House Dems like Space, Sutton, and Wilson to get lots more attention in the coming months.