Battle for the Senate: Missouri

The Missouri Senate seat is unexpectedly in play.

Missouri, the “Show Me” state, wasn’t on my original list of states with close Senate races. But the race has tightened since then, rather surprisingly. It pits incumbent Republican Roy Blunt against Jason Kander, an Afghanistan War veteran who is currently Secretary of State.

Kander doesn’t have much of a track record on environmental issues. His website he endorses renewable energy and bemoans a rollback of the state’s renewable portfolio standard. He also takes a strong stand on climate change, saying that “[h]e understands that climate change is a real consequence of human activity and we have a moral obligation to address this challenge.” Doing so “means reducing carbon pollution and accelerating our transition to clean energy, not only to protect our planet, but also to ensure our national security.”

Roy Blunt, the incumbent, has a 4% lifetime score from the Legal of Conservation Voters.   His campaign slogan is “More Jobs, Less Government.” His campaign webpage doesn’t have an issues tab, however, but his official Senate website does have an energy tab. It reports that “Senator Blunt co-sponsored legislation to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from taking over all private and state water in the United States, and he has been vocal in his opposition to the EPA’s proposed regulations on coal-fired power plants.” He not only supports the Keystone XL pipeline, but says he proposed an amendment blocking Obama’s agreement on greenhouse gases with China. The “Jobs” tab on the website trumpets Blunt’s sponsorship of legislation “reviewing, streamlining, consolidating, and repealing costly and needless government regulations.”

In short, this race pits a Democrat with environmental sympathies against a anti-regulatory Republican stalwart who is a staunch supporter of fossil fuels.  As in the other races I’ve discussed, the outcome will do much to help shape environmental policy in the next four to six years.