The Pennsylvania Senate race pits a former president of the conservative Club for Growth against a former chair of CEQ, the White House Council on Environmental Quality. They may both love the color green, but his shade of green is the color of money and hers is the color of foliage.
The Republican incumbent is Pat Toomey, a former investment banker who graduated from Harvard. He served in the House before winning his Senate seat. According to his Senate website, he supports “more oil exploration in Alaska, the Outer Continental Shelf, and the vast oil shale reserves in America’s western states.” He favored the Keystone Pipeline and speaks warmly of the “unique potential of the Marcellus Shale” to boost the economy. He has also proposed legislation, he says, to repeal subsidies and credits for fossil fuels as well as renewables. He calls coal “an essential part of America’s energy future, not to mention an important part of Pennsylvania’s economy.” Accordingly, he opposes EPA regulation of coal-fired power plants. There’s only one point where many environmentalists might agree with him: he has introduced legislation to repeal the corn ethanol subsidy.
His opponent, Katie McGinty, couldn’t be more different. McGinty’s father was a policeman, and she was the ninth of ten kids, studied chemistry at Saint Joseph’s University, and then went to Columbia law school, She went on toAl Gore when he was in the Senate and became his top environmental advisor. She then headed the CEQ and Pennsylvania’s environmental agency, before working for several years in the private sector for energy firms. She calls climate change “a serious global threat to our health, economic well-being, and national security.” She pledges to work toward passing “commmonsense climate protections with investments in energy efficiency and clean energy.” McGinty is endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters.
As in the Wisconsin race, which I discussed last time, the choice is stark. A Senate of Pat Toomeys would be a very different placer than a Senate of Katie McGinttys.