The GOP's Loss of Interest in the Environment
Over at the Guardian, I write that the Republican Party has lost almost all interest in the environment:
One of the most distressing developments of this most distressing political season is the almost complete abandonment of interest in the environment by the Republican party. Opposition to action on climate change – particularly, the once-obscure market mechanism called cap-and-trade – has become one of the principle tenets of the Tea Party movement.It is worth remembering that Christine O'Donnell's defeat of Mike Castle is in part punishment for his vote for Waxman-Markey. O'Donnell herself is rather poorly informed on these issues:
O'Donnell's views on the environment, which are almost as wacky as her views on mice with human brains, fit neatly within the new normal for the Republican party. She has railed against cap-and-trade, calling it a new energy tax, and instead, calls for more drilling, though she does oppose oil rigs off of Delaware's beaches. Two years ago, O'Donnell offered the startling assertion that "only 1% of the oil pollution in the sea is the result of oil drilling, while 63% is the result of natural seepage on the ocean floor."The Tea Party movement's anti-environment stance is not as spontaneous as you think:
The Tea Party may look like a grassroots movement, and the antipathy to environmental protection fits well with its libertarian philosophy (if "hell no" can be considered a philosophy), but the corporations behind the movement – including BP – are funnelling big bucks to support the GOP's most outspoken climate sceptics.Any Republicans in Congress who may be inclined to act on climate change will be running scared that the climate denial crowd will be coming for them next.