So far Claire McCaskill has shown herself to be a big talker who rarely delivers when it comes to the progressive base that worked hard to elect her. With action expected imminently on the Murkowski amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill, she will get one more chance to show us why we should support her in the future.
Make no mistake, the Murkowski amendment is very important. It would exempt carbon dioxide from sources other than cars from the rules that govern pollutants, blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide from non-automotive sources. This is kind of like saying that when a thug shoots you with a bullet fired from battle rifle it’s a criminal act, but if the same thug shoots you with a bullet fired from a sniper rifle it’s nothing to worry about.
The amendment would also hamstring the transition to clean energy that the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) act aims to jump start. Its provisions would effectively prohibit the EPA from doing its job and employing appropriate expertise to collect data about dangerous pollutants. If, as President Obama stated in his U.N. speech, “the United States is determined to act” to ameliorate global warming, the Murkowski amendment is absolutely the wrong way to go.
Since this amendment extends a generous helping hand to big oil along with other big corporate polluters, it is easy to see why Alaska’s Murkowski is putting it out there. Unfortunately, it also shows lots of love to the coal industry — which McCaskill seems to want to appease in the worst way (note her past statements on ACES). And indeed, when I called her office yesterday to ask that she help vote down this dangerous corporate giveaway, the staff member I spoke with was noncommittal and very cautious when speaking about her position.
If you agree that McCaskill needs to put the health and long-term well-being of Missourians as a whole above the short-term well-being of the coal industry, give her a call and let her know how important you think a no vote on the Murkowski amendment really is. Don’t forget to let her know that you really want to continue to support her and help keep her in Washington, but she has to do her part first.
You can reach her Washington Office at (202) 224-6154. Check her Web page for numbers at her other offices.