Planet Gore

Cap-and-Trade on the Campaign Trail (Cont.)

Kim Strassel has a good piece in today’s WSJ on coal country and Dems who voted with Pelosi on anti-coal policies:

Even as Speaker Nancy Pelosi twisted arms for the final votes to pass her climate bill in June 2009, Democrats feared they might be “BTU’d.” Many of them recalled how Al Gore had forced the House to vote in 1993 for an energy tax, a vote Democrats later blamed for helping their 1994 defeat.

The politics isn’t the same this time around. This time, it’s much, much worse.

Ask Rick Boucher, the coal-country Democrat who for nearly 30 years has represented southwest Virginia’s ninth district. The 64-year-old is among the most powerful House Democrats, an incumbent who hasn’t been seriously challenged since the early 1980s. Mr. Boucher has nonetheless worked himself onto this year’s list of vulnerable Democrats. He managed it with one vote: support for cap and trade.

Anger over the BTU tax was spread across the country in 1994; the tax hit everything, even nuclear and hydropower. And the anger was wrapped into general unhappiness with Clinton initiatives. Some Democrats who voted for BTU but otherwise distanced themselves from the White House were spared. Mr. Boucher, for instance.

Cap and trade is different. The bill is designed to crush certain industries, namely coal. As coal-state voters have realized this, the vote has become a jobs issue, and one that is explosive. It is no accident that Democrats face particularly tough terrain in such key electoral states as Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana. They are being laser-targeted for their votes to kill home-state industries.

In Ohio, billboards have shown Democrats John Boccieri and Zack Space as puppets, manipulated into voting for the “National Energy tax.” Kentucky Republican Andy Barr demands Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler explain his vote to cost his state 35,000 jobs. Indiana Rep. Baron Hill is on defense against Republican Todd Young’s point that cap and trade would hit coal- consuming states like Indiana hardest, raising Hoosier energy bills by $1,800 a year.

Even no-voting Democrats aren’t safe. GOP candidate Spike Maynard accuses West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall’s party of waging a “war on coal” through the Obama EPA’s greenhouse restrictions, and equally toxic EPA rules to kill surface mining.

The rest here.

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