Congressional Candidates’ Views on Clean Energy, Climate Change: PA-08

This is the second in a continuing series by the NRDC Action Fund on the environmental stances of candidates in key races around the country.  Today, we examine Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional district -- Bucks County, Montgomery County, and northeast Philadelphia.  Currently, the 8th CD is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Patrick J. Murphy (D). Murphy is being challenged by Republican Mike Fitzpatrick.

Where does Rep. Murphy stand on clean energy and environmental issues? In 2009, Murphy received a 93% rating from the League of Conservation Voters.  Murphy also voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), about which he correctly says, it "will create millions of new American jobs, limit the pollution that causes climate change, and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil by investing in American-made clean energy."  In addition, Murphy co-sponsored H.R. 890, the American Renewable Energy Act, as well as H.R. 2222, the Green Communities Act and H.R. 1778, the Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) Program, among other excellent environmental legislation. Finally, Rep. Murphy touts the fact that "Bucks County is home to the fourth largest solar field in the United States – the largest east of the Mississippi River" and that "Nearly 1,000 people have been put to work building components for wind turbines and solar panels at the old U.S. Steel site in Fairless Hills in Bucks County."  

In contrast, Mike Fitzpatrick says he "oppose[s] legislation currently being considered by [C]ongress that would implement a carbon 'cap and trade' system."  Fitzpatrick also says he supports "a balanced national energy policy that includes safe, nuclear power, clean coal, responsible offshore drilling and economical, renewable energy." When he served in Congress, Fitzpatrick received a 61% League of Conservation Voters rating in 2005 and a 73% League of Conservation Voters rating in 2006.  Fitzpatrick also was a co-cosponsor with Rep. Henry Waxman on the Safe Climate Act of 2006 – which would have cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 - but now says he is against "Cap and Trade."

We believe that it is important for the public in general, and the voters of specific Congressional districts, be aware of this information as they weigh their choices for November.

Take action today for a cleaner, stronger, and more sustainable future. Join NRDC Action Fund on Facebook and Twitter and stay up-to-date on the latest environmental issues and actions you can take to help protect our planet.

Congressional Candidates’ Views on Clean Energy, Climate Change: PA-08

This is the second in a continuing series by the NRDC Action Fund on the environmental stances of candidates in key races around the country.  Today, we examine Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional district -- Bucks County, Montgomery County, and northeast Philadelphia.  Currently, the 8th CD is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Patrick J. Murphy (D). Murphy is being challenged by Republican Mike Fitzpatrick.

Where does Rep. Murphy stand on clean energy and environmental issues? In 2009, Murphy received a 93% rating from the League of Conservation Voters.  Murphy also voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), about which he correctly says, it "will create millions of new American jobs, limit the pollution that causes climate change, and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil by investing in American-made clean energy."  In addition, Murphy co-sponsored H.R. 890, the American Renewable Energy Act, as well as H.R. 2222, the Green Communities Act and H.R. 1778, the Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) Program, among other excellent environmental legislation. Finally, Rep. Murphy touts the fact that "Bucks County is home to the fourth largest solar field in the United States – the largest east of the Mississippi River" and that "Nearly 1,000 people have been put to work building components for wind turbines and solar panels at the old U.S. Steel site in Fairless Hills in Bucks County."  

In contrast, Mike Fitzpatrick says he "oppose[s] legislation currently being considered by [C]ongress that would implement a carbon 'cap and trade' system."  Fitzpatrick also says he supports "a balanced national energy policy that includes safe, nuclear power, clean coal, responsible offshore drilling and economical, renewable energy." When he served in Congress, Fitzpatrick received a 61% League of Conservation Voters rating in 2005 and a 73% League of Conservation Voters rating in 2006.  Fitzpatrick also was a co-cosponsor with Rep. Henry Waxman on the Safe Climate Act of 2006 – which would have cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 - but now says he is against "Cap and Trade."

We believe that it is important for the public in general, and the voters of specific Congressional districts, be aware of this information as they weigh their choices for November.

Take action today for a cleaner, stronger, and more sustainable future. Join NRDC Action Fund on Facebook and Twitter and stay up-to-date on the latest environmental issues and actions you can take to help protect our planet.

Congressman Patrick Murphy's New Book

I wanted to let everyone know that you can get Congressman Patrick Murphy's book on Amazon.com via a pre-order. I already ordered mine and I can't wait to get it in the mail. The link is http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Hill-Philly -Baghdad-Congress/dp/0805086951/ref=pd_b bs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202 313991&sr=8-1

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Patrick Murphy On Iraq

Reading the remarks of netroots candidate Patrick Murphy speak on the House floor in support of his first piece of legislation makes me feel a whole lot better about the blogosphere right now:

   Congressman Patrick Murphy's Remarks, AS DELIVERED:

   Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you Mr. Chairman, I appreciate it.

   I take the floor today not as a Democrat or Republican, but as an Iraq war veteran who was a Captain with the 82nd Airborne Division in Baghdad.

   I speak with a heavy heart for my fellow paratrooper Specialist Chad Keith, Specialist James Lambert and 17 other brave men who I served with who never made it home.

   I rise to give voice to hundreds of thousands of patriotic Pennsylvanians and veterans across the globe who are deeply troubled by the President's call to escalate the number of American troops in Iraq.

   I served in Baghdad from June of 2003 to January of 2004. Walking in my own combat boots, I saw first hand this Administration's failed policy in Iraq.

   I led convoys up and down "Ambush Alley" in a Humvee without doors - convoys that Americans still run today because too many Iraqis are still sitting on the sidelines.

   I served in al-Rashid, Baghdad which, like Philadelphia, is home to 1.5 million people. While there are 7,000 Philadelphia police officers serving like my father in Philadelphia, protecting its citizens, there were only 3,500 of us in al-Rashid, Baghdad.

   Mr. Speaker, the time for more troops was four years ago. But this President ignored military experts like General Shinseki & General Zinni, who in 2003, called for several hundred thousand troops to secure Iraq.

   Now Mr. Speaker, our President again is ignoring military leaders. Patriots like General Colin Powell, like General Abizaid, and members of the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group who oppose this escalation

   But most importantly, Mr. Speaker, Congresses in the past did not stand up to the President and his policies. But today I stand with my other military veterans some who were just elected - like Sergeant Major Tim Walz, Admiral Joe Sestak, and Commander Chris Carney. We stand together to tell this Administration that we are against this escalation and that Congress will no longer give the President a blank check.

   Mr. Speaker, close to my heart is a small park on the corner of 24th and Aspen Streets in Philadelphia. This is the Patrick Ward Memorial Park.

   Patrick Ward was a door gunner in the U.S. Army during Vietnam. He was killed serving the country that he loved. He was the type of guy that neighborhoods devote street corners to and parents name their children after - including my parents, Marge and Jack Murphy.

   Mr. Speaker, I ask you - how many more street-corner memorials are we going to have for this war?

   This is what the President's proposal does - it sends more of our best and bravest to die refereeing a civil war.

   Just a month ago Sgt. Jae Moon from my district in Levittown, Bucks County was killed in Iraq.

   You know, a few blocks away from this great chamber, when you walk in the snow, is the Vietnam Memorial, where half of the soldiers listed on that wall died after America's leaders knew our strategy would not work.

   It was immoral then and it would be immoral now to engage in the same delusion.

   That's why Mr. Speaker, sending more troops into civil war is the wrong strategy. We need to win the War on Terror and reasonable people may disagree on what to do, but most will agree that it is immoral to send young Americans to fight and die in a conflict without a real strategy for success.

   The President's current course is not resolute, it is reckless.

   That is why I will vote to send a message to our President that staying the course is no longer an option.

   Mr. Speaker, its time for a new direction in Iraq. From my time serving with the 82d Airborne Division in Iraq, it became clear that in order to succeed there, we must tell the Iraqis that we will not be there forever. Yet, three years now since I have been home, it's still Americans leading convoys up and down Ambush Alley and securing Iraqi street corners.

   We must make Iraqis stand up for Iraq - and set a timeline to start bringing our heroes home.

   That's why I am proud to be an original cosponsor - with Senator Barack Obama and fellow paratrooper, Congressman Mike Thompson - of the Iraq De-Escalation Act - a moderate and responsible plan to start brining our troops home, mandating a surge in diplomacy, and refocusing our efforts on the War on Terror in Afghanistan.

   Mr. Speaker, our country needs a real plan to get our troops out of Iraq, to protect our homeland and secure and refocus our efforts on capturing and killing Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

   There are over 130,000 American servicemen and women serving bravely in Iraq. Unfortunately, thousands more are on the way.

   Mr. Speaker, an open-ended strategy that ends in more faceless road-side bombs in Baghdad and more street-corner memorials in America, is not one that I will support.

   I yield back the remainder of my time.

When I saw Patrick Murphy on swearing in day, back on January 4th, I moved to shake his hand. Instead of shaking my hand, he gave me a big hug. You guys played a big role helping him win, by less than 2,000 votes, with the $165K you raised for him on Act Blue. Now, you can be the first person to donate to his re-election campaign at the new Dailykos / MyDD / Swing State project Blue majority page.

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Fundraising for Freshman Democrats: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Hill published an article highlighting some of the fundraising efforts of freshmen Democrats in the House.  Apparently, many are doing quite well.  David Loebsack (IA-02) has raised about $71,000.  Kirsten Gillebrand (NY-20) has raised $65,000 in PAC money alone.  Earl Perlmutter (CO-07) has raised $79,000.  Charlie Wilson (OH-06) has raised $34,000.  Paul Hodes has raised $35,000.  Jason Altmire (PA-04) and Patrick Murphy (PA-08) have both raised $50,000 in PAC money alone.  Zack Space (OH-18) and Steven Kagen (WI-08) have both raised $35,000 in PAC money.

As far as simple financial numbers go, this is good news.  All of these candidates are vulnerable to some degree.  So, if all of these House members are already off to good starts, they may be able to force out potentially strong challenges early on.

But the article also has some worrying relevations.  For one thing, Nancy Boyda (KS-02) has raised only $13,000.  Considering the presidential vote in her district (Bush won it by 20 points), Boyda is probably one of our top five most vulnerable Democrats.  Plus, she will not have Sebelius' coattails helping her and will instead have to contend with the Republican tide at the top of the ticket from the eventual Republican nominee and Senator Pat Roberts. Finally, she will possibly face a rematch against Jim Ryun. More over the flip...

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