In Ohio’s 13th Congressional District, Rep. Betty Sutton (D) is being challenged by Tom Ganley (R). Sutton is a true environmental champion who voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) and who received a 100% League of Conservation Voters score in 2009. In contrast, Ganley says that limiting carbon pollution is one of the environmentalists’”radical job-killing policies.” This isn’t particularly surprising coming from a right-wing, Tea Party favorite like Ganley, but it’s even less surprising when you learn where Ganley gets his money.
One source of Ganley’s money – $4,000, to be exact – is Murray Energy PAC. What is Murray Energy all about? Our friends at the Sierra Club give us a good idea:
Murray Energy, Ohio’s largest coal mining company, wants to divert a pristine, high-quality stream from its course in Belmont County and transform the dry streambed into an artificial storage lake for billions of gallons of dirty coal slurry... Murray’s current slurry impoundment has released toxic slurry repeatedly over the past decade into nearby streams.
Nasty business, but it gets even worse. The head of Murray Energy is one Robert E. Murray, who actually lobbied against legislation that would have required mine workers to wear emergency tracking devices so they could be rescued in case of an explosion, cave-in, or other mine disaster. Murray also “has been an outspoken critic of the scientific opinion on climate change” who says that climate science is “highly speculative,” and who believes that people who care about the environment are “elitists” engaging in a “‘global goofiness’ campaigns.”
In addition to his $4,000 from Murray Energy PAC, Tom Ganley also received $1,000 from the Ohio Coal Association, which strongly supports stripping the EPA of its authority to limit carbon pollution. Just to demonstrate what these people think of environmentalists, they recently promoted this article, ”Who’s Funding the Anti-Coal Movement,” on their Facebook page. Among other outrageous comments, defends mountaintop removal by claiming that “valley fill is a political myth,” that “rocks and dirt are rocks and dirt,” and that environmentalists are a bunch of “old hippies…obsessed with their hatred of America and who wish to destroy us and level us to the point of a third world country out of spite.” The Association also questions climate science.
With record global temperatures being set every month, with the polar ice caps melting, and with the urgent need to take action on global warming before it’s too late, voters in Ohio’s 13th Congressional District ought to know where the candidates stand on this central issue.