New Candidates (and One Winner) for the Dirty Dozen

The League of Conservation Voters announced candidates today for position number nine in the Dirty Dozen (in PDF), its pre-election round-up of the current US Congress’ worst environmental foes. You get to vote, but I warn you: it’s a tough call…

Of course, I also had to take a look at the luminaries that had already made it into this distinguished group, and guess who I found: one of my own Senators, Jim Talent. According to LCV,

Senator Jim Talent rakes in the cash from the oil and gas industry but what does that mean for us? It means lower-mileage cars, less renewable energy, more drilling, less clean-up, and more anti-environmental votes overall. The oil and gas industry got what they paid for. We welcome Sen. Jim Talent to LCV’s Dirty Dozen.

The facts are pretty damning: votes against a very modest national renewable energy standard (10% by 2020), and a “sense of the Senate” resolution proclaiming “…that global warming is real and that mandatory limits are necessary to slow, stop, and reverse the growth of global warming pollution.” He voted for allowing automakers to produce less high-mileage cars if they made some that ran on flex-fuel (95% of which will likely never run on anything but gasoline), and for the EPA to allow a decision to stand that would “[delay] the meaningful reduction of mercury emissions for 20 years.” Keep in mind here that all of Missouri’s lakes, rivers and streams are under fish consumption warnings due to mercury pollution. Talent’s campaign site notes that he’d still like to open ANWR and the Gulf of Mexico to more drilling — now, those are some innovative solutions to our energy problems.

Talent’s opponent, state auditor Claire McCaskill, already has a leg up on the Senator in that she actually considers the environment an issue (Talent doesn’t have it listed on his own issues page), and discusses some solutions to our energy crunch that make sense: you know, efficiency, renewables, and higher CAFE standards (she also supports coal gasification, and more use of biofuels).

We need a Senator that’s representing Missouri, not the oil and gas industries. Time for Mr. Talent to spend more time with his family…

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