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Coal State Democrats for Cap-and-Trade!


National Journal's Ron Brownstein has a cool interactive graphic allowing you to view the Waxman-Markey vote on different dimensions. The image above shows what happens if you sort the results by "coal states." The effect isn't inconsiderable: As Brownstein explains, "Thirty of the 121 Democrats from states that generate at least 40 percent of their power from coal voted against the bill; just 14 of the 134 Democrats from states that are less reliant on coal joined them in opposition. That means about one-in-four of the coal state Democrats voted no, compared to only a little over one-in-10 of everyone else."

Even so, that means only one-in-four of the coal state Democrats voted no. I'd like to see those results drilled down to coal-dependent districts, but still, that's quite a bit less parochial defection than one might imagine. Indeed, hailing from a coal state wasn't nearly as strong a predictor of a given representative's vote than whether his district voted for Barack Obama. While one in four Democrats in coal states voted against cap-and-trade, three in five Democrats in districts that McCain carried voted against the bill. Similarly, seven of the eight Republicans who voted for the bill hailed from districts that Obama carried.

Another way of putting this is that the evidence suggests that this vote was less about parochial interests than partisanship and ideology. Plenty of Democrats from coal states made the judgment that they could defend this legislation to their constituents.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 30, 2009; 12:29 PM ET
Categories:  Charts and Graphs , Climate Change  
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Dennis Kucinich (!!) voted against this? Is he one of the progressives that Glen Greenwald is talking about or have the coal people bought him?

Posted by: user435 | June 30, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

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