Tim Kaine and the Environment
Despite some blemishes, he deserves strong support from environmentalists.
I reported last week on Mike Pence’s environmental record. This week, Tim Kaine is the one in the spotlight. Only a few minutes ago, Clinton announced that he was her choice – pretty much what the press had predicted for the last day or two. Environmentalists have a lot of reason to be happy about this choice, and a few to be cautious.
Kaine has a strong environmental record, with a 91% lifetime rating by the League of Conservation Voters. As Politico reports, “an early opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, and he has worked with Republicans to make coastal Virginia communities more resilient to sea level rise. But some environmentalists are unhappy because he has supported offshore drilling in the Atlantic as well as a bill to fast-track natural gas terminals. He also favor free trade.
Kaine views climate change not only as a major problem but as a major opportunity:
“Will Americans be the innovators? Or will we bury our head in the tar sand and let other nation innovators be the ones who grab leadership in this economy? I don’t want to bury my head in the tar sand. I want us to be the leader. Will we create new technologies and sell them to other nations or will we be late in the game and have to buy all the technologies from other nations? . . .
[W]e do not have to accept the false choice of an environment against the economy. Instead, we just need to innovate to find the solution. That’s the innovation challenge we have, and I make it a habit, apparently unlike some of my colleagues here, to never bet against American innovation, to never bet against American innovation.”
Kaine has also joined with other members of Congress to denounce the “web of lies” spun by climate denial organizations fronting for the fossil fuel industry.
Despite the grumbling, I’m sure the Clinton-Kaine ticket will receive the full support of environmentalists. What’s the difference if these candidates have a few warts, when from their point of view the alternative is Hannibal Lector?
P.S. In the process of writing this post, I happened to see the Legal Planet statistics for the past month. Intriguingly, the post with the greatest number of views was “Gary Johnson: Reasonably Libertarian?” Not quite sure what this means, but it’s certainly interesting.
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…READ more