Rep. Akin and Sen. McCaskill have sharply different views on issues such as reproductive rights. The differences on environment and energy are less stark. McCaskill seems to be the better pick on environmental grounds because of her stronger support for renewable energy and Akin’s general anti-regulatory stance.
Akin’s views of energy policy mirror Romney’s current position. His website says that “energy regulations from the EPA and other agencies have stifled our industry. . . . We must become independence and even an exporter to the rest of the world.” He also advocates cutting back on regulation in general:
I can see clearly that businesses will not begin creating jobs until there is certainty and a regulatory environment that encourages, rather than punishes success.
So far this Congress, I have joined my colleagues in passing over 26 bipartisan job-related bills in the House. These bills include legislation that would require congressional approval of all new major regulations, prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating dust on farms, free up capital for small businesses and promote the exploration of domestic energy.
McCaskill herself is far from being a liberal on environmental policy. According to her website:
Claire knows that rising energy prices are a significant burden on Missouri’s families. That’s why Claire hasn’t been afraid to break with members of her own party to protect Missouri’s coal-fired power plants and fight back against unnecessary EPA regulations. She’ll continue to fight for an energy policy that protects Missouri families from unreasonably high energy costs while promoting new energy solutions that will reduce our dependency on foreign oil.
The website also touts her opposition to regulating greenhouse gases.
On the other hand, compared with Akin, McCaskill places more emphasis on renewable energy. For instance, she supported a national renewable portfolio standard. She also calls for eliminating tax loopholes for energy companies.
Early in the campaign, I noted that Akin’s environmental views were less extreme than other candidates with Tea Party support. That remains true. McCaskill is no icon of environmentalism, but remains somewhat friendlier to clean energy than Akin. More importantly, Akin supports measures that would permanently cripple regulation across a broad range of issue.