Via The Wonk Room, Claire McCaskil is a charter memeber of a new Senate group which has coalesced around energy policy:
These “Brown Dog” senators – [Sherrod] Brown , Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA), Arlen Specter (D-PA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Robert Byrd (D-WV) – have been among the most skeptical of Democrats about climate legislation, raising spurious concerns that limits on coal and oil pollution would harm their states’ economies. They finally appear to have turned the corner, recognizing that being shackled to the dirty fuels of the past is the true threat to the future of American manufacturing jobs.
The members of the group sent a letter to Senators Kerry, Lieberman and Graham which emphasizes the need to retool American manufacturing while cushioning the transition to mitigate economic pain. The letter emphasizes the importance of taking a leadership role in the global clean energy economy.
It seems that the light may have come on for McCaskill and she can finally see that clean energy is a potential winner, both politically and in terms of what it will do for Missouri’s future economic growth. If this new initiative is what it seems – and the letter handles the topic of carbon emissions in a somewhat ginger fashion – we will need to let McCaskill know that we have noticed and applaud her first steps away from endorsing the bad, old coal-powered energy model.