Climate change may not be receiving much attention during the 2010 election, but it should be. In many states across the nation, voters face a clear choice between two types of candidates, those who will work to pass comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation and those who belong to the climate change skeptic camp. Case in point: Delaware's U.S. Senate race between Democrat Chris Coon and Republican Christine O'Donnell.
Climate change is not a back burner issue for O'Donnell, who publicly attacked her Republican primary opponent and current Senator Mike Castle for working to support bipartisan action on climate change.Â O'Donnell has also signed theÂ "Contract From America",Â pledging to work to "reject cap and trade" if elected. The term's "Cap-n-Trade" and "Cap-n-Tax" are used interchangeably on O'Donnell's official campaign website. In fact, the terms "climate change", "environment", and "global warming" don't appear anywhere on the site.
It's the same tired tactic that Republicans have been using to keep us addicted to oil for decades. Whenever we have a chance to move our economy forward by investing in clean energy, Republicans are handed a basic set of talking points that must look something like this:
Step 1: Say the words 'tax' or 'taxes'
Step 2: Repeat
Of course, these talking points ignore the fact that investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy now will actually save taxpayers and consumers money, not to mention create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
Don't expect Democrat Chris Coon to back down in the face of Republican fear mongering.Â Coon is a vocal supporter of cap and trade, a fact he highlights repeatedly on his campaignÂ website. He believes that we can get off foreign oil and create jobs by investing in innovative clean energy projects, like building wind farms off the shores of Delaware. Coon doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. As a County Executive for Delaware's New Castle County, Coon worked to save taxpayers money, protect the environment, and create jobs by putting stimulus money to work implementingÂ energy efficiency upgrades and solar power installations at county owned facilities.
So far, voters appear to prefer Coon's pro-active approach to energy independence. The latest polling data posted on Real Clear Politics shows Coon with a comfortable 15 point lead over O'Donnell.