Fivethirtyeight.com claims, “Scott Brown is a Liberal Republican.” Maybe the same way Mitt Romney is or is that “was”?
Back in mid-December, The Boston Globe had a piece on the “Environmental differences” between the two candidates to fill the seat that Ted Kennedy held. It contained this anti-science gem from the “liberal” Brown:
Just last week, Brown visited the home of a voter in Harvard, Jack Farren, who asked him, “Do you think that whole global warming thing is a big fraud?’’
Brown’s answer was illustrative, in that he did not reject the fraud theory.
“It’s interesting. I think the globe is always heating and cooling,’’ he said. “It’s a natural way of ebb and flow. The thing that concerns me lately is some of the information I’ve heard about potential tampering with some of the information.’’
Brown continued, saying: “I just want to make sure if in fact . . . the earth is heating up, that we have accurate information, and it’s unbiased by scientists with no agenda. Once that’s done, then I think we can really move forward with a good plan.’’
Coakley, in an interview yesterday in Boston after addressing a breakfast meeting of commercial real estate developers, said she believes that the climate is changing, that human activity is to blame for much of the change, and that the time for action is now.
Yeah, that fickle globe — it just can’t make up its mind what it wants to do. It’s always heating and cooling. It’s nature’s way. How “interesting.”
Memo to Brown: The warming is unequivocal, and humans are the main cause. And nature isn’t close to being as fickle as human beings like, say, you. Why exactly did you support New England’s regional cap-and-trade initiative, only to attack it now along with the bipartisan climate and clean energy bill?
The Globe offers Brown’s standard explanation, but then fails to point out how illogical it is:
Brown defended himself by saying the plan he voted for nearly two years ago did not work so he had changed his mind.
Uhh, why would you support a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if you don’t even now if the world is warming, let alone that the warming is due to greenhouse gases?
Actually Brown’s flip-flopping is even lamer than that, as a recent Globe story, “Brown showcases his conservative leanings,” makes clear:
Last week he embraced waterboarding. Last month he expressed skepticism that climate change is being caused by humans. He has even denounced two national proposals that he supported in Massachusetts as a lawmaker — mandatory health care coverage and a cap-and-trade system to cut global warming gases. “I think he is moving to the right,’’ said Marion Just, a political science professor at Wellesley College.
He seems to be looking more to the Tea Party protesters than to the traditional Republican base here in the state, Just said.
Yes, we really needed a political scientist to tell us that!
Brown also backed away from his support for a cap-and-trade system for trying to contain greenhouse gases. In 2008, he voted with the Legislature for Massachusetts to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a pact among Northeastern states requiring power plants to reduce emissions or to buy credits from cleaner industries.
“Reducing carbon dioxide emission in Massachusetts has long been a priority of mine,’’ Brown said in a news release at the time. “Passing this legislation is an important step . . . towards improving our environment.’’
The vote was viewed as a legislative rebuke because former governor Mitt Romney — as he prepared for a run for the Republican nomination for president — had backed out of the regional pact in 2005. Romney agreed with business leaders that the plan would drive up costs, though environmentalists said it would cut costs by directing money to energy-efficiency programs.
“I voted for it, we passed it, but we were told that the rates would go down,’’ Brown said in an interview on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan’’ in October. “We were sold a bill of goods.’’
One environmental advocate who pushed for the greenhouse gas initiative, Conservation Law Foundation attorney Seth Kaplan, said the initiative could not possibly be blamed for cost increases at this early stage because the cap is still so high.
“I’m a little offended at the idea that we pulled a fast one on them,’’ Kaplan said.
Well, it’s worse than that. Brown was not “told that the rates would go down.” That’s an outrageous falsehood. Everybody knew that rates would go up. But bills would stay flat or go down because of the energy efficiency initiatives.
But again, why would Brown long have a priority of reducing carbon dioxide emissions if he didn’t know that carbon dioxide emissions caused global warming?
Brown makes Romney seem like a model of consistency.
Unsurprisingly, the League of Conservation Voters just launched a $350,000 TV Ad blitz against Brown highlighting his opposition to “to building a clean energy economy that creates new jobs and cuts our dangerous dependence on foreign oil”:
“Martha Coakley understands that by investing in clean American power we can turnaround the economy and make America more energy independent,” LCV President Gene Karpinski said. “But instead of transitioning to a clean energy economy, Scott Brown would take us back to the failed Bush-Cheney energy policies — siding with the big oil companies who oppose energy reform over new clean energy jobs for Massachusetts workers.”
Scott Brown has stated his opposition to critical clean energy and climate legislation in Congress, even though two years ago as a state Senator he voted in favor of a bill that would reduce carbon pollution, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). He has even expressed skepticism that climate change is caused by humans, despite the overwhelming scientific consensus.
The Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters also recently endorsed Martha Coakley, stating:
“The Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters is proud to endorse Martha Coakley, a public servant who has fought polluters and the Bush Administration to protect our health and environment,” said MLEV Executive Director Lora Wondolowski in the endorsement announcement. “We are at a critical juncture and need leaders in the U.S. Senate who will prioritize investments in green energy and take the steps necessary to combat global warming. Martha Coakley is one of those leaders.”
As Attorney General, Martha Coakley and her office led the charge petitioning the EPA that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health and welfare. In 2007, the Supreme Court sided with her position, paving the way for EPA action under the Clean Air Act to control these harmful pollutants. She also promoted regional efforts to invest in clean energy technologies and expand energy efficiency programs in her state. Now, as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in a special election, Martha Coakley proudly supports the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act that Senators Kerry and Boxer introduced in 2009.
They definitely do not make liberal Republicans like they used to.