I received another fundraising email today from freshman Democratic Congressman Bill Enyart. As it turns out, he doesn't want my money after all. He made that very clear in his public statement promising to fight Obama's climate change agenda.
Do you know what actually caused a large electric rate increase in his district? The new Prairie State coal plant. New coal costs more than wind power. What's hurting the economy in his district lately? Record drought, extreme flooding, and not being able to move barge traffic along the Mississippi.
“As co-chairman of the Congressional Coal Caucus, I will work tirelessly against any proposed new federal mandates that will increase our energy costs, and decimate our Southern Illinois coal industry in the process."
I understand the politics of Enyart's district in southern Illinois coal country. I also know that, despite the coal industry's dominance over local press and politicians, there are many voters who understand why relying on a coal economy keeps southern Illinois poor, just like West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. No region is going to prosper by waiting for the mines to re-open. Southern Illinois deserves a Congressman with the courage to help build a new energy economy instead of selling the empty promise of coal.
Clearly, Enyart believes the coal industry is more important to his re-election effort than environmentalists and Obama supporters. He doesn't need our donations or volunteer efforts. I'm going to reply to his fundraising email by letting him know that he should direct it to coal industry executives and hope they pull through for him.
If someone isn't willing to tackle a problem that threatens the homes, jobs and lives of millions of people then I don't understand why they're in public office. Organizing for America has been targeting Republicans who won't take action on climate change. But, it was fossil fuel Democrats who stopped the cap-and-trade bill from getting a vote in the Senate. This problem will be solved when Democrats are forced to accept that they can oppose action on climate change or they can get re-elected. But they can't do both.