Home Energy and Environment Want to Win in November? Support Clean Energy.

Want to Win in November? Support Clean Energy.

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2009 Solar DecathlonA must-read piece today from Grist’s David Roberts on why clean energy is a huge political winner:

With the Wall Street Journal editorial page beating its chest, Politico making sweet, sweet love to the Solyndra non-scandal, and the Chamber of Commerce dumping money into attack ads, Democrats have gotten unduly spooked. They’ve started believing John Boehner’s trash talk, that energy is a wedge to divide unions from greens.

It’s an empty threat. The fact is, overwhelming majorities of Americans – across party, age, and regional lines – support clean, modern energy. A poll conducted by ORC International in November found that 77 percent of Americans, including 65 percent of Republicans, believe that “the U.S. needs to be a clean energy technology leader and it should invest in the research and domestic manufacturing of wind, solar, and energy efficiency technologies.” Last February, a Gallup poll offered a list of actions Congress might take. The most popular option, with an incredible 83 percent support, was “an energy bill that provides incentives for using solar and other alternative energy resources.” […]

Clean energy isolates the Republican base from the broad mass of American opinion and, in particular, from swing-state independents. It’s a wedge issue and an electoral winner for Democrats if they can quit playing defense and go on the attack. The appropriate response to threats from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a well-administered ass kicking.

Next time you hear a Democrat waffling on support for clean energy, kick them in the shins. I am not making this up: Some focus group testing this week showed clean energy is almost as popular with swing voters as killing Osama bin Laden (although who gives killing the mastermind of 9/11 a B minus?). Plus, we all know how much voters love candidates apologizing for what they believe in.

  • Allen continues his backward anti-clean energy campaign

    Richmond, VA – George Allen’s promise to keep this nation eternally dependent on fossil fuels and forfeit the global competition for the clean energy jobs of the future has been a central theme of his reelection campaign and he doesn’t appear to be ready to give it up anytime soon.

    Today during a radio interview with G. Gordon Liddy he reiterated his long-held hostility to clean and renewable energy and the jobs that come with it, saying, “they think you’re going to power our economy on intermittent, expensive, and unreliable sources.” He has previously accused proponents of alternative energy of “tilting at intermittent, expensive windmills.”

    “When George Allen says he wants to ‘unleash our energy resources’ he only means the resources that line the pockets of the oil companies that pay him,” said DPVA Executive Director David Mills. “His position on clean energy is backward and ridiculous, even compared to other right-wing Republicans like Bob McDonnell, who at least recognizes that energy independence will require utilizing every form of American energy, especially clean and renewable energy.

    “Our country is in an international race to succeed in the clean energy economy, but we will lose out if we are weighed down by George Allen and his anti-clean energy agenda.”

    While on the campaign trail, Allen has also pushed for federal approval of the Keystone pipeline, even before the affected states had time to review the project. This rush to support his oil company allies contradicts his own standards of review on other energy issues such as whether or not to lift Virginia’s ban on uranium mining, about which Allen said, “while jobs are important, so is public health and safety.”

    BACKGROUND

    2011: Allen Criticized Democrats For Supporting R&D In Clean Energy, Which He Characterized As “Tilting At Intermittent, Expensive Windmills.” In a April 2011 op-ed in the Washington Examiner, George Allen criticized President Obama “and his liberal allies in Washington” for pushing clean-energy technology and launching a “full-scale assault on conventional fuels.” Allen wrote: “In answering a college student’s question about high gas prices last week at Northern Virginia Community College, President Obama told Americans he believes the only real way to reduce our energy costs is to spend money on research and development of clean-energy technology. Sadly, the president and his liberal allies in Washington seem more concerned about tilting at intermittent, expensive windmills and throwing up bureaucratic roadblocks to using our American resources than the crippling impact of high energy costs. wind and solar power technologies remain costly and years away – if ever – from widespread use.” [Allen op-ed, Washington Examiner,4/26/11]

    Allen’s Views On Wind Differed From Gov. McDonnell’s. In April 2011, the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Virginia Politics blog noted that Allen’s views on wind differed from Gov. Bob McDonnell’s. The blog wrote that Allen’s Examiner op-ed on energy was “sharply critical of Obama’s push to spend for the research and development of clean-energy technology,” and was published on the same day that Gov. McDonnell touted the benefits of wind energy. A spokesperson for McDonnell said that offshore wind farms are a significant part of McDonnell’s energy goals.  [Virginia Politics blog, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/27/11]

    2009: Allen Said Coal Oil And Natural Gas Are The Solution To The Nation’s Energy Problem, Not Wind And Solar Because “The Sun Doesn’t Shine All The Time; The Wind Doesn’t Blow All The Time.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/4/09]