Tea Party Threatens Climate Legislation

The 2010 midterm election campaigns are in full swing, and Democrats are in jeopardy of losing many seats in both the House and Senate. Many of these positions could be won by candidates supported by the Tea Party, which wants less government and views climate legislation as just another federal power grab.

In Indiana, where Democratic Representative Baron P. Hill spoke in defense of his unpopular vote for cap-and-trade legislation, one Tea Party leader called climate change "a flat-out lie," while another described climate legislation as nothing more than a "money-control avenue."

According to polls, only 14 percent of Tea Party supporters think that global warming is an environmental problem that is currently having an effect, compared with 49 percent of people among the general population. These views are mirrored by those of the oil industry, which spends lavishly to question the science behind climate change and challenge attempts to legislate it. Some of these oil industry groups help organize Tea Party rallies where it is preached that climate legislation will only hurt our economy.

Of the 20 Republican candidates in close races, 19 question the validity of climate change and oppose comprehensive legislation to combat it. The same can be found in the House races. If the U.S. is to move forward and become a global leader in the fight against climate change, the November 2nd elections must unite the progressives to keep the possibility of climate legislation alive.

(via New York Times)

Photo: Rep. Baron P. Hill leaves a forum in Jasper, Ind., where he tried to defend his vote for cap-and-trade legislation. (Peter Stevenson/New York Times)

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