By Indy Media
Aug 27, 2009
By Ryan Grim. HuffingtonPost.com
The politics of climate change are difficult in the Senate, it's often said, because it's a regional issue: coal state senators are afraid their economies will be driven under if the price of dirty energy rises too quickly.
Climate change is, in fact, a regional issue, but not in the short-term way that the coal senators think, according to new analysis from The Nature Conservancy. The environmental group finds that rural Midwestern states will face the greatest consequences of climate change. The three that will face the steepest rise in temperature -- Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa -- are farm states whose soil will be significantly less productive as temperatures rise more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit there by 2100.
The rise by by 2050 -- only 41 years from now -- is also projected to be substantial.
The two Republican senators from Kansas, which will be most ravaged by climate change, are unlikely to support legislation addressing it.
Sen. Sam Brownback, who is retiring from the Senate but continues to have statewide ambitions, has said that humanity has a religious imperative to reduce climate emissions, but he has also signed on to the "No Climate Tax Pledge" being pushed by Americans for Prosperity, which opposes climate change legislation. The pledge says that Brownback will "oppose legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue" -- which means any of the plans currently being considered.
Sen. Pat Roberts will also be a difficult vote for advocates to score.
In Nebraska, Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson often works to pull legislation in a more conservative direction and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) isn't clamoring to support taking action to address climate change. Nelson signed a letter earlier this year calling for climate change legislation to be put off.
Read the rest: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/27/small-midwestern-states-t_n_270540.html