Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Obama posturing on Enviro-vote

Don't believe this stuff, Obama is trying to appear as a "moderate." He'll vote the DNC line, but end up, he hopes, appearing as a "centrist" alternative to Durbin, Boxer and Kennedy in preparation for a future presidential run.

Besides, Obama doesn't need southern Illinois' (coal country) votes to get re-elected in 2010. (Assuming he doesn't "move on" before then.

From CBS 2 Chicago:

Sen. Obama The Swing Vote On Environmental Bill
February 14, 2005 5:53 pm Mike Flannery reports.
US/CentralCHICAGO (CBS 2) It may be the toughest vote yet for Senator Barack Obama. He is the swing vote on the Bush Administration's Clear Skies Act.

The power generating industry claims it would reduce pollution, but environmentalists call that "clear lies.”

What was coming out of smokestacks at the coal-fired Crawford power generating plant Monday afternoon contained significantly less pollution than what was pouring out just a few years ago. All sides to the current debate agree on that. What they disagree on is the potential impact of the Bush Administration's rewrite of the Clean Air Act.

“In the last 30 years, the Clean Air Act has reduced pollution by one-third across the country. That’s an indisputable fact that's out there. This will take it down another 70 percent from current regulations. Are we making progress? Absolutely,” said Gary Mack from the Power Generating Industry.

“I certainly hope that Senator Barack Obama realizes that we need strong clean air protection and that the 'clear lies' act will not provide us with the kind of protection that families everywhere need," said Colleen Sarna from the Sierra Club.

It is a dispute that could be decided by Illinois Democrat Obama. Both sides regard the senator as a key to the outcome of a committee vote currently scheduled for this Wednesday. While Senator Obama told CBS 2’s Political Editor Mike Flannery he has not made a final decision, he is certainly is close to one.

“Generally, this does not look like a good tradeoff for Illinois. I’m continuing to talk to them, but my expectation right now is that, if the bill does not change in a significant way, I will probably be a "no" vote,” Obama said.

Senator Obama said he is skeptical of claims that enacting Clear Skies would make it easier for utilities to use coal mined in downstate Illinois, therefore creating more jobs here. The bill's backers hope pressure from the United Mine Workers will change Senator Obama’s mind.“A bill is usually good when you both biz and labor supporting this 7 of the 10 largest major labor unions in the country support this clear skies bill," Mack said. -

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