Sunday, August 24, 2008

Coleman's out-of-touch record: environment

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by: Jeff Rosenberg

This is the third in a series of weekly articles exposing Norm Coleman's record on the issues. Articles in the series will be collected here. All data in this series comes from CQ Weekly.

I have to be completely honest: Norm "W" Coleman has been better on environmental issues than on certain others. That's not to say that he's been good, of course--just less bad. In particular, it boggles my mind how someone can be against cleaning up toxic pollutants--especially when we ask the polluters to pay instead of the federal government.

Here are some examples of some of Coleman's ridiculous anti-environment votes.


Coleman came to Congress raring to fight against the environment. Soon after arriving in the Senate, Coleman voted twice against environmental cleanup. First, he voted AGAINST an amendment that would increase spending on environmental and conservation programs by $12.4 billion over 10 years. (SENATE ROLL CALL VOTE 96) Then, on the very next roll-call vote, he voted to kill an amendment that would provide $100 million from the Superfund trust fund for cleanup of brownfield sites. (SENATE ROLL CALL VOTE 97)
That same year, he voted for the first time--but not the last--AGAINST an increase in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard. (SENATE ROLL CALL VOTE 309)

Finally, he voted AGAINST a substitute amendment that would require greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 2000 levels by 2010. It would also provide a program of scientific research on climate change, establish a national greenhouse gas database, and create a market-driven system of greenhouse gas tradeable allowances. (SENATE ROLL CALL VOTE 310)


Coleman voted AGAINST increasing spending for the superfund program--again! This version would have increased funding for fiscal 2005 through 2009 by $8.3 billion; it also would have provided for reinstating polluter fees to fund the cleanup of superfund sites. (SENATE ROLL CALL VOTE 45)


Coleman voted AGAINST capping greenhouse gas emissions at 2000 levels by 2010--again! (SENATE ROLL CALL VOTE 148)


As he has done on every issue we've looked at, Coleman changed his tune once the election neared. After two votes against fuel efficiency, he offered an amendment to provide energy tax incentives for energy efficient buildings through Dec. 31, 2012.(SENATE ROLL CALL VOTE 98)

Then, he voted FOR a bill that would overhaul national energy policies and increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. So why did he vote against this before?. In fact, he voted for it 3 times in quick succession in 2007! (SENATE ROLL CALL VOTE 226) (SENATE ROLL CALL VOTE 416) (SENATE ROLL CALL VOTE 425)

The bottom line: Norm has developed a pattern: he knows his values are out of touch, and so he changes them when the election comes close. He's done this on almost every single issue, and the environment is no exception. Here's a news flash, Norm: it's too late! You're out of touch, and it's time you were held accountable.

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