I’m a Loser, Baby
The environment stands to be a big loser now that Republicans have recaptured control of the U.S. Senate and expanded their lead in the U.S. House. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) — who had a zero percent score (that’s right, a goose egg) from the League of Conservation Voters in the last session of Congress — is widely expected to become chair of the powerful Environment and Public Works Committee, which plays a lead role in debates over such issues as clean air, transportation, and Superfund. Trent Lott (R), soon to be the Senate majority leader, spoke today of an “aggressive” push to advance such GOP goals as passing a major energy bill that would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Environmentalists had hoped that the tragic loss of their champion Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) would be assuaged slightly by a Democratic victory in Minnesota’s Senate race; earlier today, however, former Vice President Walter Mondale (D) conceded the close race to Republican Norm Coleman.