Fossil-fuel Democrats are becoming an endangered species

President Obama’s heavy-handed regulation of the booming old-energy economy—the moratorium on offshore drilling following the BP spoil, the decision to block the Keystone XL Pipeline, and the prospect of a fracking ban—and his embrace of green-energy policies has played well in the solidly-Democratic post-industrial coastal economies that he also depends on for fund-raising. But it’s left him with few friends in the energy belt that spans the Great Plains, the Gulf Coast, Appalachia and now some parts of the old rustbelt, despite his election-year claims of an “all-of-the-above” energy policy. …

Today, Democratic senators in regions that depend on fossil fuels are becoming an endangered species. Over the past two years, Virginia’s Jim Webb and Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, both from booming North Dakota, have announced their retirement or retired, while Montana’s Jon Tester has distanced himself from the president as he faces a difficult re-election fight. And that diminishing presence in turn means less intra-party resistance to any potential second-term plans to cut the burgeoning fossil-fuel business to size.

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