Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Environment, the Elections, and Good Riddance to Some Right-Wingers

If the environment is an important issue for you, it's hard to complain about Chris Shays’s victory. I wanted him to lose because of his support for the war and because I thought it was important that as many Republicans as possible lose so the right-wingers would no longer control Congress (and, among other things, continue their anti-environment agenda). But it turned out that sacrificing Shays wasn’t necessary to that. So be it. He has always supported funding for the Sound and will obviously continue to do so, and so on that front it’s just as well that he won (the fact that he contributed a nice blurb for my book, but submitted it way too late for the publisher to use it, has nothing to do with my opinion on this).

We can probably expect Rosa DeLauro, Nita Lowey and Steve Israel to take the lead in the Congressional Long Island Sound caucus, although it’s always been my perception that they worked well with Shays and presumably will continue to.

In New York, another Republican, Sue Kelly, who represents my district and who I have long detested, lost after being elected six times. Kelly is a charlatan who voted the strict Gingrich anti-environment line in the mid-1990s but then voted pro-environment much of the time afterwards because the House leadership realized she needed the votes and therefore told her it was OK. Her district is on the Hudson, not the Sound, but good riddance anyway.

And out west, Richard Pombo, the right-winger who wanted to undo the endangered species act and allow all kinds of offshore drilling for oil, lost as well. Good riddance to him too.

(2 p.m. update: The one comment, below, refers to Pombo as supposedly having a hand in holding up the Long Island Sound Stewardship Act. Indeed he did, as I wrote here and here.)

The Hartford area is going to get new sewers, which it needs badly. Voters

appeared to have approved the first installment of a $1.6 billion sewer upgrade project Tuesday to eliminate what regulators describe as an environmental and public health crisis.

Around the enviro blogs, the pseudonymous ornithologist known as Nuthatch seems happy that a Democrat will be the new governor of Michigan.

Gristmill notes that a proposition that would require the state to pay landowners for land use changes that protect the environment has lost.

Geoffrey Stokes, of the Energy Outlook blog, writes:

On the environmental front, we should expect the new Congress to push for aggressive enforcement of existing regulations, and no one should be surprised to see legislation for a stronger national response to climate change emerge between now and the Presidential election in 2008.

... It hardly seems necessary to add that the chances of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have moved from barely possible to extremely remote.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Pombo's defeat, by an environmentalist alternative energy expert no less, is one of the best results in this year's Congressional election. It is in its own way ironic justice for the Sound as well.

Pombo is reputed to have had a hand in holding up the LIS Stewarship Act for years as spiteful revenge against Shays not towing the Republican line on some intraparty dispute. So it appears that in the year the Stewardship Act was passed over Pombo's opposition, Shay's wins and Pombo loses. Very, very good news.


2:01 PM  

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