Thursday, January 08, 2009

Tennessee's Republican Senators Keep Receding into the Background

If the GOP wants to present a clear alternative to the incoming Obama Administration, the Kingston coal ash spill provides them the perfect opportunity, given Obama's stated commitment to "clean coal" and their need to look innovative and reforming rather than stuck in the backwater. But, alas, Tennessee's two U.S. Senators, who can arguably be called party leaders seemed barely to show up to the unfolding tragedy.

And in today's Senate committee hearing on the ash spill Barbara Boxer seemed to be the person stepping up assertively and offering a forward-looking vision for TVA to lead in "green power research." What I heard from Lamar Alexander was mostly a defense of what TVA accomplished, even though its history includes prompting by outside forces toward reform. He failed to come across to me as very bold, and Boxer rocked. I've already alluded to news that help for Tennesseans may have to come from fellow Californian, Rep. Henry Waxman, but if Boxer can help, too, more power to her.

Speaking of Waxman, according to TPM, he will be joined in the Democratic House energy committee leadership by Ed Markey, an advocate of climate change legislation. Let's hope relief and reform are coming for neighbors who currently live in harms way around coal-burning plants (HT: Freddie O).


  1. "Tennessee's Republican Senators Keep Receding into the Background"

    Now if they'll just recede a little further back....just a little further, guys.....just a little more....

    Whew, that was a steep cliff.

    Anyway, yep. This is a Republican created problem and naturally, it will take someone other-than-Republican to fix it.

    I noticed Gordon, Tanner, Davis and Cooper are about as scarce as the Repigs are.
    The right Dems could make this work out, question is which Democrats will join Republicans to obstruct the efforts?

  2. Kingston will be a tough sell on clean coal technology. Lots of PR to be done...