It’s been obvious for some time that Republican victories in next month’s elections will only make it more difficult to pass climate legislation. However, perhaps the most telling reminder of the difficulty in passing climate legislation came last week from the Democrats, not the GOP. Governor Joe Manchin, running for Senator Byrd’s seat, was endorsed by the West Virginia Coal Association. Among the bullets noted in the press release, the WVCA noted that:
"Governor Manchin opposes any form of Cap & Trade legislation that threatens the jobs that our coal mining families depend on for their livelihoods.
The press release also notes that Manchin would work to pass legislation prohibiting EPA from regulating carbon using existing Clean Air Act authority. According to Greenwire, Bill Rainey, the President of the WVCA stated that “we've witnessed this governor put his finger in the chest of EPA officials."
In fact, given that he is from West Virginia, it appears that Manchin has been a good governor and would probably be a good senator – someone who could perhaps work across the aisle with senators like Lindsey Graham. However, while Tea Party types often talk about RINOs – Republicans in Name Only – environmentalists have to look at someone like Governor Manchin and think that, at least on climate change, he’s a DINO.
The environmentalists’ problem, even aside from potential losses in November, is that, on climate change, a newly-elected Senator Manchin would not be the only DINO.