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11/07/2012 01:01 PM     print story email story  

Election Results Help US Move Forward, Not Backward

SustainableBusiness.com News

Breathing many sighs of relief today.

We now have the chance we deserve to support renewable energy, a greener economy, women's rights and the middle class by re-electing President Obama and gaining key progressive seats in the Senate and House.

In his victory speech, Obama said:

"We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the disruptive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that's safe and respected and admired around the world."

In 2009, Obama was the first president to clearly articulate the importance of renewable energy when he said, "The choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy. The choice we face is between prosperity and decline." Later that year, he said at MIT, "There are those who will suggest that moving toward clean energy will destroy our economy - when it's the system we currently have that endangers our prosperity and prevents us from creating millions of new jobs." [thanks to Joe Romm for reminding me of these quotes] Now, he has four more years to deliver on that promise.

I also appreciated this line from his speech, "I want to thank every American who participated in this election," Obama said, "whether you voted for the very first time, or waited in line for a very long time - by the way, we have to fix that."

Let's hope this dirty politicking game really does get fixed.

10 members of the League of Conservation Voters' "Dirty Dozen" - climate deniers who consistently voted against clean energy and conservation - were defeated, including Romney.

And most of their "Climate Heroes" have been elected. Although the final results aren't in yet, it appears that Jay Inslee will be Governor of Washington state.

Senate winners are: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); Martin Heinrich (D-NM); Mazie Hirono (D-HI); Chris Murphy (D-CT); Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and House winners include: Ami Bera (D-CA); Julia Brownley (D-CA) and John Delaney (D-MD).

If the GOP had gained control of the Senate, its most fervent climate denier James Inhofe (R-OK) would have chaired the Energy and Public Works Committee, which guides environmental and infrastructure policy, including the Environmental Protection Agency. And Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was in line to chair the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will bring progressive populism to the Senate, and trading Joe Lieberman (I-CT) for Chris Murphy (D-CT) will also help. In the House, we welcome back Alan Grayson (D-FL) and say good-bye to far right-wingers such as Todd Akin (R-MO), Richard Mourdock (R-IN), Joe Walsh (R-IL).

"Now, for progressive America, the fight turns. We can savor a victory over those who would take us back to an earlier time, but only briefly. Now we have to organize, and turn our energy to pressuring the Democrats to fight for our ideals. We now have a progressive coalition in the United States that can win against steep odds. That coalition is ultimately the big winner of the 2012 election," says Joshua Holland, of Alternet.



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