Yesterday, Senate Republicans intervened on behalf of a put-upon, impoverished, and under-represented constituency: Big Oil. They blocked a measure that would have provided $32 billion in incentives for renewable energy via a tax on oil companies -- with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his over $450,000 in life campaign donations from the oil industry at the helm.
With attention to global warming at an all time high, Congress has the opportunity to push innovative legislation to address the need for renewable energy. Unfortunately there's a long history of big campaign donations from the oil industry standing in the way protecting big corporate profits and shutting down new policy.
It's not surprising then that Senator McConnell should stand up for Big Oil a mere day after speaking against the Fair Elections Now Act, which would allow candidates to seek office without having to insinuate themselves into the pockets of special interest contributors. McConnell went so far as to suggest the public doesn't support full public financing of elections for Congressional races in the Fair Elections model (actually about three-quarters of voters do).
Does he also think voters don't support breathable air? Healthy oceans? Glaciers that stay nice and frozen instead of flooding New York City? Global warming threatens all these things, and points to the urgent need for progress on renewable energy which goes hand in hand with the need to sever the link between our legislators and special interest campaign contributions. Something McConnell and his $450K in oil money, just stood in the way of.