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Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown: “Inaction is not an option. Capping carbon emissions can create new jobs in a clean energy economy”

By Joe Romm on April 20, 2009 at 3:06 pm

"Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown: “Inaction is not an option. Capping carbon emissions can create new jobs in a clean energy economy”"

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Everyone knows that Ohio and the industrial Midwest have been hit especially hard by this recession. What many people don’t understand is that climate change legislation can make our region and our country stronger.

So writes Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown in an article in today’s Roll Call, “Clean Energy Can Bolster Industry.”

Nothing that Brown writes is terribly surprising coming from a progressive.  But I thought the entire piece is worth reading to help correct the misimpression created Saturday by the Washington Post‘s top climate reporter, who wrote “cap-and-trade legislation … is fiercely opposed by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats from fossil-fuel-dependent Midwestern states.”

Brown would seem to be the poster child for fossil fuel dependent Midwestern states (notwithstanding the fact that all states are fossil fuel dependent).  Yet he writes:

But clean energy policy is far more than a means of bolstering U.S. manufacturing. If we care about the world in which we live and the generations that will follow us, then we must no longer dismiss the lethal risks global warming poses to our planet. We must craft an aggressive strategy to combat global warming, and we must do it now….

Whether it’s reducing carbon emissions to combat global warming, increasing energy efficiency or securing U.S.-based energy sources, all of these goals underscore the importance of clean energy manufacturing….

Some people would say that our current economic crisis compels us to delay action on comprehensive climate change legislation. I disagree. Inaction is not an option. Capping carbon emissions can create new jobs in a clean energy economy. Without action, we face dangerous consequences. We risk the health of our citizens, the viability of our coastal areas, the productivity of our nation’s farms, forests and fisheries, and the long-term economic and national security of our country….

So much for “fiercely opposed” to cap-and-trade legislation.

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6 Responses to Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown: “Inaction is not an option. Capping carbon emissions can create new jobs in a clean energy economy”

  1. Anders says:

    Maybe he saw what type of impact climate change is having on the agricultural sector in central valley, CA? As it seems that you are hinting, I’m not so sure we should applaud a democratic senator stating the obvious. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but it should be expected.

  2. Joel says:

    I disagree Anders, we need to give Midwestern Democrats every kind of encouragement when they take such positive steps as an endorsement of not only green jobs, but a carbon cap no less. There is a great deal of wariness towards carbon capping and even green jobs (see my blog and some comments there for a taste of the skepticism among some in Northern Ohio Rustbelt), and what is perceived by some as legislation that is being crafted by coastal elites without consideration for the decades-long recession the region has been facing. This perspective, whether or not we agree with it, needs to be considered if we’re to keep this progressive climate coalition together, and Midwestern Democrats need to be reminded (as I intend to) that their constituents support them.

  3. David Freeman says:

    I agree with both Anders, “it should be expected”, and Joel, “we need to give … encouragement.”

    I emailed her office a note of appreciation and though I don’t live in Ohio, I sent links to this blog entry to all my friends in Ohio and asked them to send appreciation to.

    Interestingly, her web site, http://brown.senate.gov/ , does not have a link for donations, otherwise I would have made one.

  4. Joel says:

    Sherrod is a he, FYI.

  5. Mossy says:

    As a native Ohioan, who managed to escape to MA, I agree with Joel in praising positive stances by politicians, as they are all too often criticized. Joel, you did not provide a link to your blog, and although I am a long-time reader on this site, I have not in the past recorded it, so I would appreciate it if you could provide the information. Occasionally I need to read comments by northern Ohio skeptics to better understand my relatives who reside there!

  6. dhogaza says:

    Joel, you did not provide a link to your blog

    Click on his name at the post just above yours …