Are there chances for GOP pickup in Obama’s climate-change agenda?

posted at 5:51 pm on July 2, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

It’s difficult to say exactly, but given President Obama and the Democrats’ desperate hopes to make gains in both the House and Senate in the 2014 midterms and preferably not spend the remainder of his presidency as an oh-so-hapless and put-upon lame duck working to break through that obstinately obstructionist ‘Republican’ Congress, I’ve been mulling over the rollout of his executive and well-trumpeted plans to address climate change. He’s certainly been promising the environmentalist contingent that he’ll get around to serious action for long enough; obviously, election season was not a good time, but climate-change concerns are still not a top priority for the large majority of Americans. A Pew poll last week reported that only 40 percent of Americans consider climate change to be a major threat, presumably because — as vaguely green as the vast majority of his base as well as independents and even some conservatives may consider themselves — economic concerns reliably trump environmentalist ones (although admittedly the green lobby probably does make an outsized amount of political noise).

In terms of potentially embattled districts, however, Republicans are already seizing on opportunities where energy issues might have a major impact on races next year, talking up job and economic losses in the energy-rich states across the country. Via the NYT:

Elected officials and political analysts said the president’s crackdown on coal, the leading source of industrial greenhouse gases, could have consequences for Senate seats being vacated by retiring Democrats in West Virginia and South Dakota, for shaky Democratic incumbents like Mary L. Landrieu of energy-rich Louisiana, and for the Democratic challenger of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader. …

Republicans immediately went on the attack against Democratic House members in mining states, posting Web ads with a 2008 sound bite of Mr. Obama predicting regulating carbon emissions would cause electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket.”

Asked about the impact of the president’s actions on his own re-election prospects next year, Representative Nick J. Rahall II, Democrat of West Virginia, said, “They don’t help.”

In Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic secretary of state, announced on Monday that she would take on Mr. McConnell in 2014, and was immediately attacked by national Republicans as being joined at the hip to the president in a “desire to destroy the coal industry.” Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky, noted that Mr. Obama had rarely mentioned global warming during his re-election campaign because “he had to carry Ohio — that’s a coal state.” …

There may only be a handful of House races where energy could be a make-or-break issue, but the two Democratic senators from West Virginia — including Joe Manchin, whose campaign in 2010 including blasting environmental regulations and Obama’s 2009 cap-and-trade bill — weren’t very pleased about Obama’s plans, either.

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, in an interview last week with Fox News, called the president’s plan a “war on America.”

“It’s just ridiculous. … I should not have to be sitting here as a U.S. senator, fighting my own president and fighting my own government,” he told Fox News. “I will continue to reach out, but I need a partner here. I don’t need an adversary.”

Manchin’s colleague, Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, was more reserved, saying the president needs to provide more information about how miners would be affected.

And as I mentioned last week, too, energy production could be a key factor in the Virginia gubernatorial this fall — Cuccinelli immediately went on the attack trying to link McAuliffe to the president’s climate-change plans, and McAuliffe immediately tried to distance himself from it. This could definitely be a thorny issue for them on multiple fronts — I’d count on Democrats undoubtedly and vociferously continuing to paint Republicans as “flat-earth,” “climate denying,” supposedly science-hating “extremists” with nothing to offer but biblical references and conspiracy theories.


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OT – where’s this thread?

Isn’t it significant that the FLOTUS thinks she lives in prison?

Schadenfreude on July 2, 2013 at 5:54 PM

It’s difficult to say exactly, but given President Obama and the Democrats’ desperate hopes to make gains in both the House and Senate in the 2014 midterms and preferably not spend the remainder of his presidency as an oh-so-hapless and put-upon lame duck working to break through that obstinately obstructionist ‘Republican’ Congress, I’ve been mulling over the rollout of his executive and well-trumpeted plans to address climate change. He’s certainly been promising the environmentalist contingent that he’ll get around to serious action for long enough; obviously, election season was not a good time, but climate-change concerns are still not a top priority for the large majority of Americans. A Pew poll last week reported that only 40 percent of Americans consider climate change to be a major threat, presumably because — as vaguely green as the vast majority of his base as well as independents and even some conservatives may consider themselves — economic concerns reliably trump environmentalist ones (although admittedly the green lobby probably does make an outsized amount of political noise).

3 sentences

WTF? Hire an editor.

Capitalist Hog on July 2, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Yes! Break down his green agenda for what it will do: raise electricity rates, raise oil and natural gas prices, raise food prices, kill jobs, give more power to the EPA, etc. ALL issues Americans are sensitive to.

Charlemagne on July 2, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Charlemagne on July 2, 2013 at 5:58 PM

You forgot “and not do a goddamn thing for the environment”

BigWyo on July 2, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Watch him delay his own EO on coal until 2015.

Capitalist Hog on July 2, 2013 at 5:57 PM

she caught a stream of conscienceness, you’d never recognize that

DanMan on July 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM

South Dakota should be a pickup even if the energy issue weren’t on the table.

Obama’s War on Coal strengthens the GOP candidate in WV greatly. It’ll help the GOP in Montana, North Carolina, and Georgia.

In a somewhat counter-intuitive way, the Democrats can spin the anti-coal rhetoric to be beneficial for Landrieu and Prior because their states are benefiting substantially from shale gas extraction.

The only competitive senate race where Obama’s anti-coal rhetoric clearly help him is Iowa due to their recent boom in wind power generation.

Robert_Paulson on July 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM

South part of Houston and Ft Bend County are powered by a huge coal plant. This won’t go over well.

DanMan on July 2, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Most important to obama:

1. ‘climate change’

2. gay marriage

3. abortion

Schadenfreude on July 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Heh, on topic.

Schadenfreude on July 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM

I think that Obama will be more worried about his legacy and future speaking tours than helping out Dems in tight races. If he campaigns for them it will be all about him.

DAT60A3 on July 2, 2013 at 6:12 PM

I’ve been mulling over the rollout of his executive and well-trumpeted plans to address climate change.
==============================================

Sounds like a winning ProgTard\Socialist Strategy,er,…..not!!

canopfor on July 2, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Watch him delay his own EO on coal until 2015.

DanMan on July 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Yeppers, like this

Schadenfreude on July 2, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Most important to obama:**

1. ‘climate change’

2. gay marriage

3. abortion

Schadenfreude on July 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM

**Ranking subject to change without prior notice.

Liam on July 2, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Feel free to switch to a blog that doesn’t charge you so much to read and comment.

blink on July 2, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Are you arguing against editing or against pointing out EJ’s 50 word sentences?

When you defend a standard you define your own. I get where you’re coming from. And I never want to be there again. Low standards for low-lifes.

she caught a stream of conscienceness, …

DanMan on July 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM

You make my case well.

Capitalist Hog on July 2, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Groan!!!

I’ve been posting this since 2008. No one has paid attention. Let me do this exercise in futility again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_mining_in_the_United_States#Coal_mining_areas

Twenty-six states produce coal. (52 Senators!!!) The major coal-producing states are (in descending order as of 2000, with annual production in thousands of short tons):

Wyoming (338,900).
West Virginia (158,257)
Kentucky (130,688)
Pennsylvania (74,619)
Texas (49,498)
Montana (38,352)
Illinois (33,444)
Virginia (32,834)
North Dakota (31,270)
Colorado (29,137)
Indiana (27,965)
New Mexico (27,323)
Utah (26,656)
Ohio (22,269)
Alabama (19,324)
Arizona (13,111)

Total United States: 1,437,174

Wake up GOP!!!

patch on July 2, 2013 at 6:17 PM

**Ranking subject to change without prior notice depending on waging dogs.

Liam on July 2, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Schadenfreude on July 2, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Heh, on topic.

Schadenfreude on July 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Schadenfreude:Ahem,lol,i do wonder if they have a Lobby,
that lobbies the DemoRats!:)

canopfor on July 2, 2013 at 6:17 PM

OT, but significant

Schadenfreude on July 2, 2013 at 6:19 PM

3 sentences

WTF? Hire an editor.

Capitalist Hog on July 2, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Capitalist Hog:OUCH!!

canopfor on July 2, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Are there chances for GOP pickup in Obama’s climate-change agenda?

No, the Republicans are too busy attacking their base voters with amnesty to worry about winning elections.

RJL on July 2, 2013 at 6:29 PM

The GOP has a rare opportunity to pick up support in MN-8, the iron mining area of the state that is routinely DFL. In 2010 they actually elected a Republican, but lost the seat in 2012.

The Enviro-Left is filibustering action on precious metals mining, which would be a boon to this economically depressed area.

The tree-huggers and legal beagles from the Twin Cities who moved to the Ely/BWCA area are actively fighting the mine permits. There have been fistfights (more than the normally expected amount in this hard-drinking area) over the mining expansion issue.

In the old days, the bohunks, dagos, squareheads and finnlanders would have joined forces to run these “packsackers” off the Range.

Sadly, that’s not the case today, and the locals are saddled with high unemployment so the Twin City gentry can have their elitist playground.

Of course the MNGOP is too clueless to make anything of this very ripe situation.

Bruno Strozek on July 2, 2013 at 6:31 PM

The Hawg complaining, well I never…still s/he isn’t complaining about the TEA Party Extremists (Yet) so I say we cut s/he some slack

JFKY on July 2, 2013 at 6:38 PM

It is telling that the Democrats cannot find a candidate to run against Shelly Capito, the Repub Senate candidate in WV. It has not been long ago that WV was considered a solid blue state. The state House and Senate have been under Democratic control since the 1920s (tho now it is close). My how the times have changed. I guess WV can thank Obama for something.

humdinger on July 2, 2013 at 7:01 PM

posting Web ads with a 2008 sound bite of Mr. Obama predicting regulating carbon emissions would cause electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket.”

A. A little late
B. That soundbite can fit in a 30-second ad. This should be on TV.

Kafir on July 2, 2013 at 7:15 PM

posting Web ads with a 2008 sound bite of Mr. Obama predicting regulating carbon emissions would cause electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket.”

Is that “prudent” Obama is still very popular….I mean those ad’s might alienate the Soccer Mom’s and Independents…..

It might be better for John Boehner and Christie to join together and propose an ALTERNATIVE package that ONLY raises electricity bills 15-20% AND has greatly expanded Low Income Utility Credits for the Poor…

That way we show we “get it and care”…..

Possibly Newt could sit on a couch with Obama, on this issue.

JFKY on July 2, 2013 at 7:27 PM

South Dakota should be a pickup even if the energy issue weren’t on the table.

Robert_Paulson on July 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM

The Ag industry owns this state and they are heavy piggies at the trough. They will keep a democrat to bring home the government bacon.

trs on July 2, 2013 at 7:34 PM

What’s needed is for an independent PAC to get very aggressive and run ads solely on climate change.

The arguments are on our side on this but the public by and large doesn’t know anything except what the MSM has broadcast. We need some new people to found an advertising PAC with ambitious goals, and, as conservatives would donate $ en masse to any campaign deemed effective, the ad campaign would be largely self-supporting. All a motivated person would need is some seed money and good initial creative. And BAM! … Change public opinion dramatically in our favor, and thus influence elections across the board (congress & president).

Seeming to indicate that indeed we could make a huge impact with a anti-warmist ad campaign is this warmist sponsored study which concluded that participants watching a “skeptic film” were strongly influenced, while watching a standard warmist film had no effect: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/01/skeptic-movies-meet-their-goal-whereas-alarmist-ones-does-not/

anotherJoe on July 2, 2013 at 7:44 PM

First, there shouldn’t be a Democrat in office from any coal producing state, that wants to produce coal. Of course, they’ll lie, cheat and deceive to stay in office, but they won’t do what it takes to stop THIS president from going around Congress.

Secondly, what has the stupid party proposed that would slow something like this down. Obama has been planning on this for a long time. He’s made the speeches and proposed the policies, what has the stupid party done? They sit on their hands and react to this guy instead of being pro-active. Where is John Boehner? He can’t even figure out what to do about the immigration bill. Oh, he’s going to propose the Hastert Rule, wow. Screw the Hastert rule bring the bill to the floor and send it back to the Senate voted down. A leader could get that done. A leader could get this bill voted down and then send a series of bills to the Senate that actually accomplish something. Not John Boehner.

bflat879 on July 2, 2013 at 8:23 PM

You make my case well.

Capitalist Hog on July 2, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Are you trolling for a job?

Nice effort.

BigWyo on July 2, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Are you trolling for a job?

Nice effort.

BigWyo on July 2, 2013 at 10:32 PM

No, thanks. HA doesn’t do much reporting. Also if my company were to hire me today, my starting wage would be more than I ever made in press.

Capitalist Hog on July 2, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Perhaps Republicans can run on something like: We are here to clean up the mess environmentalists left us with in the way of 14,000 dead wind turbines in the US that ‘responsible’ companies have abandoned.

Point out that ‘green’ is all about the Benjamins and not about the environment.

Point out that it takes more energy to produce a wind turbine than it will EVER produce on its own.

Point out that they are bad for the environment.

And point out that since they don’t feed the poor nor uplift the masses, that the taxation takes useful and productive cash out of the economy for things that don’t work.

Finally point out that the Greens and Left aren’t ‘pro-environment’ so much as anti-industrial and anti-human.

ajacksonian on July 3, 2013 at 6:55 AM