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Sen. Warner Votes Against Amendment on Urgency of Climate Change, Switching to Clean Energy

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Who on earth would oppose an amendment (see below) that simply reiterates the science of climate change — namely, that it's real and caused mostly by humans — while urging that we move towards non-carbon-based energy?  As you can see from the roll call vote on the Bernie Sanders amendment to the Keystone XL bill, every single Democrat but three – Heidi Heitkamp, Claire McCaskill and….Virginia's own crazy “radical centrist,” Mark Warner – voted against “tabling” (aka, “killing”) this amendment.  Yeah, I know, WTF Mark Warner?!?  I mean, heck, even Sen. Joe “Coal” Manchin voted the right way on this one.  

What's totally f'ed up about this vote is that fossil fuels make up only a tiny percentage of Virginia's economy, so there's not even that lame excuse. In addition, Hampton Roads is one of the most vulnerable areas in the entire country to the impacts of climate change. Plus, Virginia stands to benefit enormously from the business opportunities surrounding the multi-trillion-dollar clean energy market in coming days — unless, of course, we foolishly, idiotically choose not to take advantage of that profit opportunity.  

Finally, what really boggles my mind is that when “Green Miles” Grant, Josh Tulkin (at the time with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network) and I met with Mark Warner in January 2008, we all felt that he totally “got it” with regards to climate change and clean energy. So what happened since then? I mean, in the real world, the urgency of dealing with climate change has actually GROWN significantly since then, while the cost of clean energy has plummeted.  If anything, in other words, Warner should have become far MORE enthused about clean energy as a business opportunity, and also far MORE concerned about global warming. The question is, why hasn't he?  

SA 24. Mr. SANDERS (for himself, Mr. BENNET, Mr. CARDIN, and Mr. MENENDEZ) submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 1, to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

     After section 2, insert the following:

   SEC. __X. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING CLIMATE CHANGE.

    It is the sense of Congress that Congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community that–

    (1) climate change is real;

    (2) climate change is caused by human activities;

    (3) climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world;

    (4) a brief window of opportunity exists before the United States and the entire planet suffer irreparable harm; and

    (5) it is imperative that the United States transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy as rapidly as possible. 

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    Mark Warner has six more years as the “Democratic” senator from Virginia. After that, perhaps a real Democrat will challenge “Mr. Centrist” for the Democratic nomination. I can only hope.