Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Environment and Climate Win Senate Race in Michigan Midterms

Climate change and environmental concerns were important issues in the Michigan midterms and they may well have been the deciding factors in the race for the Senate. On Novmeber 4th, Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) trounced the Republican candidate, former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land by 14 percentage points.

Concerns about the Great Lakes were on top of voter priorities. This concern is driven by a number of environmental calamities including oil spills, most notably the rupture of Enbridge Line No. 6 into the Kalamazoo River (the largest inland oil spill in US history) and the 2014 refinery spill on Lake Michigan. It was also about the Koch brothers three-story high pile of petroleum coke that poisoned the air and the Detroit River.

Koch funded Americans for Prosperity aired adds attacking Peters. Land's spokesman called Steyer a "radical liberal" and Land disagrees with Peters on the extent of the effect of human behavior on our climate.

A number of environmental groups have played an important role in making climate change a top tier issue In Michigan. Most notably, Tom Sayer and NextGen spent $3m on TV, radio, and digital ads attacking Land, for being too close to the Kochs.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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