Larry Kissell's statement on his vote

I'm going to post the entire press release with one bit of commentary. The news isn't all bad. Larry isn't anti-environment. It's actually one of his strengths. His district has some of the counties with the highest unemployment in the state and high unemployment is a chronic condition for them. Maybe, for the 8th District, this was just the right bill at the wrong time.

Those of you who pay attention to this stuff...there's a delicate little dance they do in Congress allowing certain members in competitive districts to vote with their district if they've been able to whip enough votes and know the legislation is going to pass. I can't help but think that Heath and Larry traded votes on this one. No way in hell Heath Shuler is left of Larry Kissell.

This legislation did not have overwhelming support among the masses. It's confusing and doesn't address an immediate problem most people face in their lives. Larry represents the people of the 8th District and I can assure you he made more people happy there than unhappy. It isn't his job to represent progressives in North Carolina. It's his job to represent the 8th District.

WASHINGTON – Congressman Larry Kissell (NC-08) reaffirmed his commitment to the environment and the citizens of the 8th District with his votes in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday.

Kissell joined the majority of the House in voting to pass the 2010 Interior-Environment Spending Bill by a 254-173 margin. To protect his district from further job loss and increased energy costs, Kissell voted against H.R. 2454, the Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, also known as Cap and Trade.

“Protecting our environment is very important to me. My vote on the Interior Spending bill will improve national parks, increase funding for the Clean Water Act and the Drinking Water Fund, makes available millions of dollars to promote the development of renewable energy, and strengthens the Environmental Protection Agency,” Kissell said. “America must find a viable, common-sense, comprehensive policy to encourage green energy technology and end our dependence on foreign oil. I could not vote for Cap and Trade because it doesn't meet these goals for our nation and endangers the economy of our district. With unemployment in the Eighth District in double-digits, now is not the time to pass legislation that will raise energy prices and possibly cost our district more jobs.”

The Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill provides $2.3 billion for the Clean Water Act, allowing states to address the nation’s aging wastewater infrastructure. It contains $1.4 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund; $2.75 billion for improvements in the national park system; $503 million for the National Wildlife Refuges. H.R. 2996, also, contains $420 million for climate change research and adaptation efforts such as $15 million for the National Global Warming and Wildlife Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey; $10 million for grants at EPA to encourage local communities to cut their greenhouse gas emissions; and $58 million to promote the development of renewable clean energy sources on federal lands and waters.



In the above piece, I'm not suggesting

a literal trading of votes. I know some might be confused by the words I used.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I called Kissell's office yesterday as well as McIntyre's.

I assumed McIntyre would vote against this legislation. He's reliably a barking Blue Dog. Have to say, however, the McIntyre staffer I spoke to was a good deal more interested in what I had to say (or at least appeared so) than Kissell's. Kissell's staffer appeared half surly and half disinterested.

All legislation has it's good and bad points. I guess that's because we don't have a Congress composed entirely, or even mostly, of people with integrity whose main purpose is the welfare of our nation. Even so, there are sometimes votes that I think capture the essence of where someone stands. (McIntyre's defining votes. for me, are/were when he voted in favor of violating the Geneva Conventions and opposed Habeas Corpus and endorsed Bush's attack on Posse Comitatus.) Now this.

I'm very disappointed in Larry's vote. VERY. I think this vote captured something about him and I don't like it.

Stan Bozarth

Sorry Charlie

Imagine this vote had been on whether to make slavery legal. Imagine that a majority of people in the 8th district were clamoring for the right to buy them some strong backs to work in their fields and factories. Should Larry vote in favor of slavery because that's what his constituents want?

I understand as well as anyone the delicate dance of policy making. And though I don't live in the 8th district, I think I even understand the challenges they're facing. I also understand that this legislation has serious shortcomings. What I don't understand is why Larry Kissell considers the economic interests of his district to be more important than the interests of six billion other people.

I expect ethical politicians to think about the strategic impacts of their choices - on everyone. Yes they must understand and work for the interests of their constituents, but when those interests are at odds with the well-being of the state, the nation and the entire planet, choosing parochialism is cowardly and destructive.

Kissell did not, like Dennis Kucinich, vote against this legislation because it wasn't strong enough. He voted against it because it will help him with the folks at home.

I understand that my position is naive. I believe politicians should take the long view and make choices with future generations in mind, not future elections. I thought Larry was someone I could count on for that kind of thoughtfulness. I was wrong.

Sure he's done a lot of good stuff, but when it comes to making tough calls, Larry appears focused on being reelected. That's his prerogative. And it's my prerogative to find that behavior unsupportable.

"Unsupportable"......I agree.

The Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, and NC Conservation Network (among many others) supported this legislation and clearly articulated why. Larry needed to make his call based on the needs of the nation, not his judgement of the possible district downsides.

I note too that he's not coming here any more and when he last did, he posted and ran. He'll be back in 2010 wanting money and support. I'm going to package up all Larry's "thank you" yellow smiley-face notecards and send 'em to him with a short note. I'm done. Watershed event for me re Larry. Phftttt......done.

Stan Bozarth

Not. Buying. It.

Schuler's office was relaying the fact that he was undecided to the end; Kissell's offfice reporting on Thursday that he was a definite no on this bill. So I don't see where the tradeoff comes in.

Schuler actually took a politcal risk and voted yes on the bill, kudos to him for his courage.

Kissell claims he's committed to our environment because he supported the parks bill, but on the key environmental issue of our time, addressing global warming, he votes against his party, his President, and the real interests of his constituents.

In regard to jobs in the 8th District, in NC, and this country, the key is to spur green jobs and investment...

The President spells it out in his weekly address today:

Now my call to every Senator, as well as to every American, is this: We cannot be afraid of the future. And we must not be prisoners of the past. Don’t believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth. It’s just not true. my comment

it isn't a direct tradeoff. Shuler was undecided b/c leadership was whipping the vote and putting pressure on blue dogs who are safe to give cover to Dems in more competitive districts. It's not like Larry and Shuler met in the cloakroom and made a deal.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

doesn't matter

his vote is his vote, and that's what he will be judged on, not some political manuevering to cover his arse....

public option on healthcare

Another thing I'm concerend about is Kissell's position on the health care public option....I inquired about Kissell's position on the public option when I called about ACES yesterday, and the staffer did not to know his position on the issue.

A friend also carried the DFA petition's from North Carolinians supporting a public option to Kissell's office on Thursday, and spoke with a staffer who also claimed not to know the Congressman's position on the public option.

For those working on this issue, I encourage you to start lobbying Rep. Kissell to support a public option for healthcare.

He'll be against it

It's nothing but a giveaway to freeloading crackheads and welfare moms at the expense of hard-working people in the 8th district. Of course there's the little problem of all those unemployed, uninsured people in the 8th district, but I've been told they're all freeloaders too. Especially the ones hit by medical bankruptcy. It's their own damn fault for not being fancy Congressmen who get free care at taxpayer expense.

Sorry, Larry.

In so many ways and on so many levels.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!


but I maintain enough optimism to believe we should keep up the fight...we're very close on so many of the things that we have been fighting for.

Just like yesterday, sometimes you win, and we never know when that might be...keep the pressure on, and try not to get too cynical my friend.

ps- when I get cynical, I will expect you to reciprocate with some encouraging words ...peace

Kudos go out to

Shuler and Etheridge for casting the right vote, even if it is unpopular in their districts.

Larry doesn't have an excuse - he voted the wrong way on probably the most important environment and energy bill ever. It really makes me regret all the money I sent him. He voted the same way Robin Hayes would have.

Etheridge can use help today.

I've just gotten word that the tea-bag crowd ("Americans for Prosperity") is planning an anti-Etheridge event at their Raleigh office (333 Fayetteville St.) at 5 p.m. today, attacking him because he voted for ACES (the clean energy, climate-change action bill we're discussing).

Some Raleigh area environmental advocates are planning a counter-event with signs and t-shirts supporting ACES and Etheridge.

Show up if you're in the area. Send to if you need more info. I'm not going to be available to address questions here, unfortunately.

Dan Besse

Larry Got This One Half Right

While I would have been happier if he voted against both, at least he had the wisdom to vote NO on the largest tax increase in history (Cap and Trade).

The Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, and NC Conservation Network (among many others) supported this legislation

That's all I need to know...if these people are for something, then most likely I should be against it. Sierra Club has become a group of environmental thugs.

Government crises are usually manufactured to pick your pocket.

Now there's some smart thinking

If someone you don't like is against something, simply choose the opposite view. Don't worry about the merits of the arguments.

I'm guessing you would have been the guy who voted to blow up the other ferry. Nice.

Correct you are my Joker, Friend!

Har, har, har.

Who'd have guessed that despite our combined superior evil brain power and convoluted logic that H.R. 2454 to NOT blow up the other ferry, would had passed anyway.

Rawr, rawr, rawr.

I'm as pissed as you, and twice as myopic.

The planet is saved.

I'll send up the alert for Captain Hyperbole now.

Perhaps he can correct our success.




If the tights fit.

Wear 'em.

Wait, I just realized you thought you were Batman in this analogy and not the Joker, didn't you?

Oh my. You are dangerous.

Here are the "merits" of the "argument"

The Climate Change Climate Change

Steve Fielding recently asked the Obama administration to reassure him on the science of man-made global warming. When the administration proved unhelpful, Mr. Fielding decided to vote against climate-change legislation.

If you haven't heard of this politician, it's because he's a member of the Australian Senate. As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to pass a climate-change bill, the Australian Parliament is preparing to kill its own country's carbon-emissions scheme. Why? A growing number of Australian politicians, scientists and citizens once again doubt the science of human-caused global warming.
Associated Press

Steve Fielding

Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as "deniers." The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S.

In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country's new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country's weeks-old cap-and-trade program.

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the "new religion." A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists' open letter.)

The collapse of the "consensus" has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth's temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.

Credit for Australia's own era of renewed enlightenment goes to Dr. Ian Plimer, a well-known Australian geologist. Earlier this year he published "Heaven and Earth," a damning critique of the "evidence" underpinning man-made global warming. The book is already in its fifth printing. So compelling is it that Paul Sheehan, a noted Australian columnist -- and ardent global warming believer -- in April humbly pronounced it "an evidence-based attack on conformity and orthodoxy, including my own, and a reminder to respect informed dissent and beware of ideology subverting evidence." Australian polls have shown a sharp uptick in public skepticism; the press is back to questioning scientific dogma; blogs are having a field day.

The rise in skepticism also came as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, elected like Mr. Obama on promises to combat global warming, was attempting his own emissions-reduction scheme. His administration was forced to delay the implementation of the program until at least 2011, just to get the legislation through Australia's House. The Senate was not so easily swayed.

Mr. Fielding, a crucial vote on the bill, was so alarmed by the renewed science debate that he made a fact-finding trip to the U.S., attending the Heartland Institute's annual conference for climate skeptics. He also visited with Joseph Aldy, Mr. Obama's special assistant on energy and the environment, where he challenged the Obama team to address his doubts. They apparently didn't.

This week Mr. Fielding issued a statement: He would not be voting for the bill. He would not risk job losses on "unconvincing green science." The bill is set to founder as the Australian parliament breaks for the winter.

Republicans in the U.S. have, in recent years, turned ever more to the cost arguments against climate legislation. That's made sense in light of the economic crisis. If Speaker Nancy Pelosi fails to push through her bill, it will be because rural and Blue Dog Democrats fret about the economic ramifications. Yet if the rest of the world is any indication, now might be the time for U.S. politicians to re-engage on the science. One thing for sure: They won't be alone.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A15

Government crises are usually manufactured to pick your pocket.

Well, I have to disagree

This was printed in the Wall Street Journal. If they're for something, I'm against it.

(Have I mentioned how I really like your kind of thinking?)

There are a hundred and one reasons to reduce carbon, especially coal burning, many having nothing to do with climate change. Mercury poisoning is one. Continuing deforestation from acid rain is another.

The only argument against enforcing stringent carbon reductions is a weak economic argument ... and many make the case that a shift toward carbon reduction would trigger entire new industries and growth. So if the global warming alarmists are wrong, it's really not a big deal ... just a shift from subsidizing oil and coal to subsidizing something cleaner.

If the alarmists are right, the risk of not acting is much more pervasive than short-term economic worries. If they are right, failing to act is the same as blowing up the other ferry - and maybe our own too. That's just stupid short-term thinking.


Your comment violates fair use standards. Please don't cut and paste entire documents.

If I could edit the post I would

Having said that, I did include the link. My apologies...I actually cut and pasted the text from Instapaper so it could be more easily read.

Government crises are usually manufactured to pick your pocket.