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If money wins elections, the Republicans are sitting pretty damn pretty. Two groups with ties to right-wing Yoda Karl Rove, American Crossroads and American Crossroad GPS, say they expect to raise as much as $65 million this election season — their goal had been $52 million. And now they say they’ll be able to spend it on even more candidates from the party of climate zombies.
They can keep a secret: The big difference this time around is the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year. The decision allows outside donors to contribute to non-profit groups, which can then pump that money into campaigns without revealing any donor names. The big court’s decision has been a boon to American Crossroads GPS and to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, both of which qualify under the rulling and are exempt from naming names. The Chamber has said it could spend as much as $75 million this election year and most of that is going to Republicans.
The White House and Democratic National Committee have made an issue of the unnamed contributors pumping money into these conservative groups. But the people at American Crossroads claim the Dems’ complaining strategy has backfired. They say they’ve taken in $13 million in the past week alone, after Obama started raising the spectre of secret donors. [The Washington Post]
And in other green news:
Coal in his soul: Not that we need it, but here’s more evidence that Congress is not a place where tough decisions on environmental issues get made. In an interview with the Beckley Register-Herald, West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall (D) works hard to prove he’s a coal man through and through, proudly boasting that he’s the main reason a bill banning mountaintop mining hasn’t sailed through the House. And Rahall is hardly a climate change denier. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
Climate change — to deny it exists, to just put your head in the sand and, ‘oh no, it doesn’t exist, what are you talking about,’ is about like standing on the floor of Macy’s during the month of December and claiming Santa Claus doesn’t exist. Come on, get real.
By comparison, Rahall’s opponent, Republican Elliott “Spike” Maynard says that if he’s elected, his “life work” will be to “defund the EPA.” [Beckley Register-Herald]
Good thing they’re looking out for us: Thomas Friedman provides more evidence — like we need it — of how shortsighted Congress has been about supporting energy innovation — all in the name of reducing the debt. [The New York Times]
Military intelligence … no, really: While the Republican Party is full of candidates who don’t see the urgency to get off fossil fuels, the U.S. military understands the costs, particularly the human ones, of relying so heavily on oil. [Mother Jones]
Yo, Canada: Canada has become the first country to officially give that nasty BPA a toxic designation. [Treehugger]
Go with the blow: It may be going slow on issuing permits for offshore oil wells, but the Interior Department says it needs to speed things up when it comes to approving wind farms. [The Hill]
Catch the wind: The wind definitely is picking up in Oregon. The Energy Department has approved a loan guarantee to build one of the world’s largest wind farms — as many as 338 turbines — in the eastern part of the state. [Inhabitat]
The sun also rises: According to the first “solar jobs census,” there now are 93,000 solar energy jobs in the U.S. And that number’s expected to rise by 26 percent next year. [Portfolio]
Don’t know much about energy: A new “energy education” textbook for California sixth-graders isn’t getting high marks from green groups. It invites students to “enjoy the buffet” of energy choices in the U.S., presenting coal and oil as options alongside wind and solar. And it’s mum on climate change, other than to say that “more carbon dioxide can lead to warmer temperatures on Earth.” [Climate Science Watch]