Last week the House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, an energy bill designed to jump start investment in clean, renewable energy like solar and wind and establish a market based cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Now the bill’s not perfect, having been heavily watered down by conservative Democrats like Minnesota’s Colin Peterson, but it’s a good start for addressing climate change and getting America on the path to the energy solutions of the future. Thing is, only one guy out of the Arkansas delegation voted for it. That vote, of course, was Vic Snyder. Boozeman’s vote I understand; he is a Republican after all. It’s Marion Berry, my Congressman, and Mike Ross that have pissed me off.
Now Berry’s a has been by this point. Everyone in eastern Arkansas is pretty much sitting around waiting for him to retire or kick the bucket. But Ross is younger and could have a long political future. He’s already a prominent member of the Blue Dog Coalition in the House that worked to water this bill down before voting against it, but it’s also generally believed that he’s probably eyeing the race for governor in 2014.
You can read Ross’s defense of himself here. It’s maddening that he claims this bill will hurt jobs and do nothing to promote clean energy then turns around and pushes the horse and buggy solution of more coal and more oil (which is probably because oil and gas companies are among his biggest contributors). That’s the past, solar, wind, and other renewables are the future, and while Arkansas may not benefit the most from the new energy economy we would certainly benefit from reducing the ill effects of global warming on our state.
Between this and his vote against the hate crimes bill, Ross doesn’t need to be anywhere near the Governor’s mansion. And honestly, if it’s a choice between him, Bill Halter and Dustin McDaniel, I’ll be looking for another candidate.