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Action Needed:

Click here and pledge to call Claire McCaskill and Kit Bond during the next three days, July 27-29, and let them know that inaction or timid half-steps to combat climate change is not acceptable.


Real, effective climate legislation, that is, legislation that mandates some form of carbon emission control is now officially dead for the present and perhaps the future. As Joe Romm of Climate Change puts it, “the mostly dead climate bill is now extinct.”

Naturally, the Democrats want to blame the Republicans, and they are right that the corrupt numbskulls on the Republican side of the aisle played their usual obstructionist role. But Republican obstructionism is not the whole story. This time around, the so-called brown dogs, including prominently our own esteemed Claire McCaskill, have to take their share of the blame:

… garnering 60 votes on a plan that caps emissions is a major challenge as long as Democrats such as McCaskill fear the electoral consequences.

To be sure, Obama and Reid also need some Senate Republicans to play ball if they’re going to get a climate bill across the finish line. But the amount of GOP support they will need is directly proportional to the number of Democrats they will lose. And Obama faces considerably more party discord on climate change than he did on health care or Wall Street reform because of deeply rooted regional concerns over energy policy

So you could certainly say without fear of contradiction that Claire McCaskill was instrumental in killing the climate bill. And while she has taken money from coal interests (about $10,000 out of $47,000 total from energy interests), it surely can’t be the case that this relatively tiny mess of pottage is is what prompted her to sell out her base. It is far more likely that she is simply afraid of the the political consequences if she takes a principled stand – afraid that if electricity prices or farm energy prices were to go up, she might be out on her you-know-what come 2012.

People in organizations like Repower America know that if we are to revive meaninngful climate change legislation, we need to keep the issue alive and let politicians like McCaskill know that while we’ll get their back when they do the right thing, we won’t forget when they let us down. More importantly, McCaskill is a co-sponsor of the Rockefeller bill that seeks to neuter the EPA’s emissions control rules. And, although, President Obama is poised to veto the bill if it passes, we have to let her know that supporting the coal industry in this way is not really winning hearts and minds at home.

In early days, before McCaskill learned to fear the Tea Party backlash, she was, as Michael Bersin reminded us last week, pretty upfront about her support for cap-and-trade. Such past statements suggest that McCaskill knows what the right thing to do is, but is just too timid to do it.That’s why Repower America is asking progressives, environmentalists, and anyone who is concerned about the pending climate disaster, to phone McCaskill tomorrow and remind her of what she already knows.

So by all means get mad. But also take action – click here and make a pledge that sometime during the next three days – July 27- July 29 – you’ll phone McCaskill – and poor, hopeless Kit Bond, for what it’s worth – and let them know that we demand real leadership to get us through this potentially disastrous environmental crisis.

Afterthought: You don’t even have to click and use the Repower America tools – just phone the fools and let them know the folks they work for aren’t too pleased.  Please. McCaskill’s number: (202) 224-6154; Kit Bond’s: (202) 224-5721.