Friday, May 30, 2014

LCV Endorses Coal-Loving, Pipeline-Loving John Walsh, Ignores Primary Opponent

I've written before about the corruption in Big Green (see here and here for instance).

Well, here's another great example.

Today, the League of Conservation Voters Action fund endorsed appointed Democratic incumbent John Walsh for election in the Montana senate race this fall.

The same John Walsh who has been calling on Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
The same John Walsh who is a champion of coal.

Sounds like a real environmental champion!

As I have stated in prior posts, I don't think that environmental groups should endorse Keystone-XL supporters in general elections. They could campaign against the Republicans in the race if they wish, but not for the Democrats.

However, this case is made worse by the fact that Montana actually has a Democratic primary. They are not only endorsing John Walsh against Steve Daines but, implicitly, against his Democratic primary challengers.

Take, for example, rancher Dirk Adams.

Here he is in the Huffington Post with the "top 10 reasons Montanans should oppose the Keystone XL pipeline."

And on his website:
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline (which is only a shortcut on an existing pipeline) is a bad deal for Montana. Yet Dirk Adams is the only candidate, Democrat or Republican, who is standing up against it. The pipeline promises jobs it won't deliver. It will cause problems for landowners. The last pipeline TransCanada built in Montana had 12 spills in its first year of operation, spewing over 20,000 gallons of crude. The Keystone XL pipeline is bad for the environment and the businesses that depend on it. It is bad for Montanans' health and pocketbooks.
And let's check out his website. Here's what he thinks of coal:
Coal is no longer viable as a long term source of energy, or a reliable source of jobs in Montana. We need to start strategizing now to create alternative jobs for our 1200 workers at Colstrip. The 700 million tons of coal in Montana will be left in the ground. Financial research shows there is not financing for export terminals, and local opposition to proposed West Coast terminals is strong. They will not be built.
America is reducing its energy use and is investing in renewables. Environmentalists have succeeded in persuading decision-makers of the stark danger to our climate that coal offers. Natural gas is more readily available than ever. The Great Falls Tribune reported on Feb. 12 that PPL, Montana's coal-fired electrical generating plants are costing the power company millions of dollars, according to documents Northwestern Energy submitted to state utility regulators.

The data, one independent industry analyst said, paints a "bleak" picture for coal-fired generation in Montana.
There's a big adjustment coming in utilities.
We need a fair and just transition. Not just new jobs. Not just more jobs. We need jobs that help rebuild our infrastructure in such a manner that a new economy can grow from it. Workers must be involved in the planning. We must build even as the old foundation deconstructs.
We must both mitigate climate disruption and build new economic infrastructure. The two are not at odds.
Coal is dead. I will not be dishonest about this for political gain. Lying isn't going to help those workers. Instead, I have a plan for retraining and job growth. I'm going to serve the impacted citizens by dealing with reality, rather than serving myself by hustling concerned workers for votes with promises no candidate will keep.
We often talk about elected people as leaders. Some are. Some aren't. Regardless, none of us need to be "led" with rhetoric and buzz phrases. We need to recognize external realities and navigate them, aim for new goals and use the momentum of change to generate something that serves the citizens, the economy, and builds the middle class.
That, to me, sounds like a far stronger environmental champion and someone the LCV should be supporting. But that would mean having to buck the establishment. And the LCV clearly has no desire to do so.

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