(Updated) Climate-criminal Senate Democrats: A Keystone pipeline vote list

Update: Of the 17 Dem senators listed below, eight are up for re-election in 2014:

Baucus (MT)
Begich (AK)
Coons (DE)
Hagan (NC)
Johnson (SD), retiring
Landrieu (LA)
Pryor (AR)
Warner (VA)

I meant what I said below about this being a choice between holding the Senate and becoming hunter-gatherers. Reasonable people can disagree, but still … hunter-gatherers.

As I wrote earlier, I think Obama has four must-have economic legacy items:

The whole of Barack Obama’s two-term economic agenda is topped by these four items:

  1. Health care “reform” — a privatized alternative to Medicare expansion
  2. A “grand bargain” in which social insurance benefits are rolled back
  3. Plentiful oil & gas and passage of the Keystone Sludgepipe (KXL pipeline)
  4. Passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement

And that’s the list. Privatized “Medicare expansion” (the ACA). Benefits cuts for SS and Medicare. Keystone. TPP. If Obama gets these four, he’s a happy man, and in his mind he goes out in glory. …

We screwed up on the first — thanks, Dennis “Plane Ride” Kucinich and the other “bold” progressives in Congress. But we can still win the other three.

So this is our second-term action list as progressives:

Stop Grand Bargain benefit cuts.
Stop Keystone.
Stop TPP.

If we win those three, we win the big economic fights of Obama’s remaining presidency. I’ll be writing about all of these, as I have been doing. This piece is about Keystone.

Keystone had a test vote in the Senate — it was approved

The Keystone Pipeline is rearing its sludge-filled head. First came the news that a key government environmental study was authored by people from TransCanada, the pipeline’s builder. Then came a symbolic vote in the Senate, a test vote to see who would line up where. There’s more detail on the vote at the link; for now I want to feature the voters themselves.

Context: This is one of many votes in the Senate on Friday, March 22, in a session which went past the midnight hour. The big measure was the Continuing Resolution, which funds the government. Attached to it were a 30–40 Amendments — for example:

Inhofe Amdt. No. 139; To uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

There were 41 total roll-call votes that night, many like this one. (By the way, Inhofe’s thing passed 53-46-1.)

The amendment we care about is this one:

Hoeven Amdt. No. 494; To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth in United States manufacturing, oil and gas production, and refining sectors through the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

That one also passed, 62-37-1. The proponents of Keystone, climate criminals all, are using the vote to signal to the White House that Keystone will pass in the Senate. But we can use that vote for our purposes as well.

There are three groups of votes I noted, and two to present. First, the list of climate criminal enablers (Sludgepipe supporters) on the Republican side includes … all of them. That was easy.

Next, the Democratic climate criminals in the Senate. These 17 people really do want to serve the carbon masters at the expense of our future. (“-1” means a vote for Keystone; this is a “scorable vote” in my opinion.)

Democratic climate criminals in the Senate
Eager Keystone supporters — Yes to carbon money, No to you & your future

Last Name First Name State Party Phone Mar 22 Keystone
Baucus Max MT D (202) 224-2651 -1
Begich Mark AK D (202) 224-3004 -1
Bennet Michael CO D (202) 224-5852 -1
Carper Thomas DE D (202) 224-2441 -1
Casey Bob PA D (202) 224-6324 -1
Coons Chris DE D (202) 224-5042 -1
Donnelly Joe IN D (202) 224-4814 -1
Hagan Kay NC D (202) 224-6342 -1
Heitkamp Heidi ND D (202) 224-2043 -1
Johnson Tim SD D (202) 224-5842 -1
Landrieu Mary LA D (202) 224-5824 -1
Manchin Joe WV D (202) 224-3954 -1
McCaskill Claire MO D (202) 224-6154 -1
Nelson Bill FL D (202) 224-5274 -1
Pryor Mark AR D (202) 224-2353 -1
Tester Jon MT D (202) 224-2644 -1
Warner Mark VA D (202) 224-2023 -1

I kind of don’t care about losing the Senate if we manage to really nail some of these folks. After all, the alternative is maybe humans become hunter-gatherers again. Want to know how hunter-gatherers live? Look at the homeless in your own city. They’re hunter-gatherers; the smell is part of the lifestyle, always was.

Hmm; risk losing the Senate, or risk becoming hunter-gatherers again. I know which risk I would take.

climate change pollution global warming CO2

CO2 via Shutterstock

And no, I don’t want to hear about constituencies. For example, Mark Begich from Alaska — How long will your happy oil-soaked Alaskans like their state, when it’s the state with the most liveable climate of them all, and everyone in the lower 48 comes streaming in because … hey, open inter-state borders, dude; free crossing rights.

Senator Begich, when no crops will grow in the California Central Valley because it has four months of temperatures above 100°F, how is Alaska not the largest refugee camp in the nation? This happens before 2100. That’s what you’re voting for.

My message to you, sir:

Save Alaska from the rest of us. Keep the lower states worth living in too.

One more thing …

Did the State Dept really use TransCanada people for their environmental study?

Yes, Virginia, they really did. Listen to Matt Filipowicz with the detail. Don’t miss the Koch Bros connection near the middle — yes, Obama really will make Daddy Koch rich with this one — and the New York news near the end. Stunning.

Matt’s a humorist, so his tone is satirical (one reason I enjoy him), but it’s a fact-filled rant as well. Listen and learn.

This is what we’re up against, folks. Keystone game on — this is the big one.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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