Climate change remains overrated as an issue for Democrats

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix:
Democratic presidential candidates are jousting over who best can save the planet. But even if one of them wins the White House, the Senate would threaten to scuttle any action to ease the effects of climate change.

If Democrats fail to win the Senate, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is expected to block even incremental steps to limit carbon emissions — forget the ambitious Green New Deal proposed this year that calls for eliminating fossil fuels by 2030.

Even so, Democratic candidates are forging ahead with their proposals because climate change is a top issue among primary voters and they hope to shift the national conversation in their direction. Yet some worry that the voters aren’t paying enough attention to congressional races that are critical to moving climate legislation.

The best-case scenario for Democrats is that they win a narrow Senate majority, which would still require some cooperation by Republicans to reach the 60 votes needed to pass legislation. And McConnell, who hails from Kentucky, a coal state, has signaled that won’t happen.

“People are really concerned about that,” said Waleed Shahid, a spokesman for Justice Democrats, an activist group that supports the Green New Deal. “I can’t imagine a situation where there’s bipartisan climate legislation happening.”

McConnell has shown no interest in taxing carbon or regulating climate emissions, saying the way to deal with global warming is through technology and innovation. “Not to shut down your economy, throw people out of work, make people reconstruct their homes, get out of their cars – you get the whole drift here, this is nonsense,” he told reporters this year.

It has caused concerns about the Senate among young voters.

Leah McClintock-Shapiro, a 20-year-old student in the Seattle area, said confronting climate change is “number one on my list” of priorities.

“Taking back the Senate is very important to get that done,” she said.

Because of a quirk in Senate rules, Democrats might be able to pass budget-related measures with a simple majority — spending on clean energy, tax incentives for green innovation and scrapping taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuel. They’d have to deal with Joe Manchin, a Democrat from another coal-state, West Virginia, who is currently the ranking member of the Energy Committee.

But regulatory measures like auto pollution limits would be subject to the 60-vote rule.
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While some young people have been bamboozled by those who push climate change as a problem, voters as a whole do not rate it as a high priority and most people are not willing to destroy their lifestyle for the proposed moves.  One of the biggest problems is the lack of current technology to replace fossil fuels.  Wind and solar are inefficient and unreliable. besides being costly.  Electric autos are as bad if not worse as fossil fuel cars besides having limited range.  Democrat proposals would also destroy farming and make it impossible to get food to the market.

Recently, a Canadian company claimed it had developed a way to extract hydrogen from oil in the ground.  Such a technology would provide much more promise than current proposals and would not destroy the economy.

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