In Climate Debate: Great Lakes States are Targeted

The extreme tug-of-war going on in Congress over the Climate Change legislation has moved its battlefront to the Midwest. A cadre of Republican Congressmen against America’s Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) are targeting Great Lakes lawmakers in an attempt to pry their votes away from the Democratic majority in the US House.

Playing on regionalism, the Republican’s led by Ohio’s John Boehner are arguing that the bill meant to create clean energy jobs while confronting global warming will actually harm coal producing and farm states in the Midwest and South. Advocacy groups working for coal and big industry are circulating maps that misrepresent which states would win and lose if the bill becomes law. They are extremely interested in picking off votes from Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as the rest of the Great Lakes states. The vote will be held on Friday.

This legislation is critical to Great Lakes restoration. Climate change promises to make all the problems in the lakes much, much worse as well as bring new dangers to our largest source of surface fresh water. The funding in the bill would encourage clean energy jobs – a new market for Great Lakes states – we can become world leaders again in this emerging industry. The bill would also generate funding to protect and restore the Great Lakes. We need this legislation and we need it yesterday.

Those working against the bill are also planning to make this legislation the “big” issue in the next Congressional campaign. As they have in the last several election cycles, they will continue to try and use any vote to demonize Democrats as “liberals” loyal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – the Queen of left wing politics, according to many conservatives.

So, if they can’t convince our Great Lakes lawmakers to vote against the bill because -as they are saying – it would drive up utility bills and place financial burdens on farmers, then they will use the vote against the Congressmen in the next election cycle.

They are playing dirty (covered in soot) and they aren’t thinking about the future of this nation and the future of our fresh water reserves. They are only thinking in two year election cycles and that isn’t good for anyone let alone Great Lakes restoration. If you can spare a minute, please call your Great Lakes lawmakers and ask them to support the Great Lakes by voting for America’s Clean Energy and Security Act. The Capitol Hill switchboard is: 202-224-3121.

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