Environmental advocates optimistic on second term


(Pete Souza/THE WHITE HOUSE)

The League of Conservation Voters is cheering the defeat of 11 of the 12 lawmakers they dubbed the “Dirty Dozen” for their poor records on pollution.

The LCV targeted a $10 million campaign against them and five climate -change deniers, dubbed the “Flat Earth Five” four of whom lost.

Despite those wins, says LCV senior vice president for government affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld, the GOP-led House still isn’t likely to be fertile ground for legislation they’d like. Instead, they’re again looking to the administration to forward their agenda.

Climate change tops that list for this term, including limiting carbon pollution, developing renewable energy sources, and stopping the development of “dirty” fuels (hello, Keystone pipeline). The EPA is considering regulations reducing carbon emissions from new power plants, and LCV is hoping for a second set on existing plants.

LCV isn’t using the m-word (sh...that would be “mandate”) but they’re optimistic about progress in a second Obama term, Sittenfeld says, given progress in the last four years and because they think their success on Election Day proves it’s good politics.

But there’s likely to be a shift in the ground within the Obama administration on such issues, since neither Energy Secretary Steven Chu nor EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson are expected to stay too long into the second term.

So maybe they should consider stocking up on more champers, though it’s little too soon to put it on ice.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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