Specter Joins Conservative Democratic Bloc on Climate and Energy
From the Wonk Room.
Pennsylvania’s Sen. Arlen Specter, who announced his switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party today, will remain a key swing vote in a Senate locked by GOP filibusters on green economy legislation like cap and trade, renewable energy standards, and green jobs programs. Specter will be joining a bloc of conservative Democratic senators who are publicly skeptical of President Obama’s clean energy agenda, and who have repeatedly voted against Obama’s proposal to place limits on global warming pollution:
- Supporting a filibuster for green economy legislation
- Roll call votes #125, 126, and 164.
- Requiring that green economy legislation not affect the cost of energy production or use
- Roll call votes #116, 117, and 169.
Ideologically, Specter is in line with Democrats like Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), who worries that Obama’s clean economy proposal may “suck money” from his state, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who is “against forcing petrochemical companies” to “bear the brunt of new costs,” and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), who worries cap and trade “could have a negative impact on our economy.”
Specter, whose top donors include the electric utilities Exelon Corporation and PPL Corporation, has told Pennsylvania students that “his main platform in running for re-election is global warming.”