Key Senate Races, Energy Policy and the Environment

In a series of posts, I’ve surveyed the key Senate races — meaning those that don’t seem to be “locks” for either candidate.  These races will probably determine control of the Senate. The candidates differ greatly in their positions on the environment and on energy policy. Here is a quick summary of what is at stake on those issues  in each of these seven key elections:

State Democratic Candidate Republican Candidate Comments
Connecticut Chris Murphy. Murphy has served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and has a 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Linda McMahon. McMahon stresses her anti-regulatory agenda and is enthusiastic about fossil fuels. A key race environmentally.  If elected, Murphy could be a leader on environmental issues.
Indiana Joe Donnelly. Supportive of fossil fuels but also emphasizes renewables. Richard Mourdock. Says climate change is a hoax.  Speaks of “jackboot” of regulation. Somewhat conservative democrat versus tea party candidate.
Massachusetts Liz Warren.  Emphasizes support for renewable energy. Scott Brown. Flipped to anti-environmental positions when he got to D.C. Candidates mirror environmental positions of their national parties.
Montana Jon Tester. Tester has a 87% LCV rating. Danny Rehberg has a 6% lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters (quite a bit lower than Paul Ryan’s). An especially stark contrast in environmental views.
Nevada Shelley Berkley.  Berkley focuses heavily on the issues most relevant to Nevada — renewable energy and public lands. Dean Heller. 14% rating from League of Conservation Voters. An unusual race: Heller doesn’t mention Romney’s main talking points on energy, while Berkley focuses exclusively on issues with strong state relevance.
Virginia Tim Kaine.  Strong environmental advocate. George Allen.  Strongly anti-regulatory. Largely mirrors national party positions, except that Kaine seems to have especially warm feelings toward the state’s landscape.
Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin. Supports cap-and-trade and other environmental measures. Tommy Thompson. Central theme is “drill, baby, drill.”  Hasn’t mentioned climate change in five years. Baldwin champions environmental protection, while Thompson is in love with fossil fuels.


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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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