2016 Senate campaign

Battle for the Senate: A Ten State Roundup

The stakes for environment and energy policy are high in this year’s Senate elections.

Control of the Senate is important for many reasons, including the majority party’s control over the agenda and its power to launch investigations. Given that the Republicans are in such a strong position in the House, it matters even more than usual which party controls the other chamber. The parties are far apart on many …


Battle for the Senate: North Carolina

An unexpectedly close Senate race in the Tar Heel State.

The North Carolina case features Deborah Ross (D) against incumbent Richard Burr (R). Neither is a well-known figure nationally. Ross was a lawyer and state representative. More surprisingly for a candidate in a Southern swing state, she served as executive director for the state ACLU. Her website reports that she had a 94 percent lifetime score from …


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. …


Battle for the Senate: Florida

Failed presidential candidate Mark Rubio fights to keep his Senate seat in the Everglade State.

Anyone over 30 probably remembers Florida’s role in the 2000 election, when a few hundred votes (and five Supreme Court Justices) swung the election to Bush.  Florida remains a swing state today.  This race will be closely watched for that reason, as well as the strong contrasts between the candidates’ policy views. Compared to most …


Battle for the Senate: Illinois

This race features an environmentally leaning Republican versus a Democratic war hero.

Mark Kirk is an outlier among his fellow GOP Senators.  His lifetime score from the League of Conservation voters is 57% — compare that with many republicans who are at 3% or lower.  His opponent, Tammy Duckworth, is a war hero with a lifetime score of 85%, still comfortably above Kirk’s.  So there’s a difference …


Battle for the Senate: Indiana

The Indiana race pitts an anti-regulatory incumbent against a pro-environmental challenger.

Indiana presents another strong contrast in environmental views.  The Republican, Todd Young, has a rating of 3% from the League of Conservation voters.  His opponent, Evan Bayh, has a 74% rating. Young is an Annapolis graduate and former Marine officer, who earned his MBA from night classes at the University of Chicago.  After a short …


Battle for the Senate: Ohio

Rob Portman and Ted Strickland duke it out in a key swing state.

In some states, the candidate’s websites barely mention energy or environment. Not so in Ohio.  Both the Republican incumbent and the Democratic challenger make these issues focal points of their campaigns. The Republican is Rob Portman, who served briefly as U.S. Trade Representative before heading the Office of Management and Budget.  He has a lifetime rating …


Battle for the Senate: Nevada

A tight race with sharply contrasting candidates. Want to gamble on the outcome?

The two major party candidates in the Nevada race agree on the desirability of renewable power, but that’s about all they agree on.  Joe Heck, a Republican doctor with extensive military experience, favors streamlined permitting for renewable project on federal lands and wants state governments to get a share of the benefits.  But he also …


Battle for the Senate: New Hampshire

Almost uniquely, both candidates support action on climate change.

Kelly Ayotte’s rating from the League of Conservation voters is 35%.  That’s on the high side for a Republican.  Her opponent, Maggie Hasan, is a strong advocate of action on climate change. Ayotte is a former prosecutor and long-time state attorney general; she says that as AG she “stood up to polluters to protect New …


Battle for the Senate: Pennsylvania

Toomey & McGinty have *totally* opposite views on environment and energy.

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 …