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June 13, 2013

In Massachusetts, Being "Green" Is About More than Words


In a debate on Tuesday, Massachusetts’ Republican Senate candidate Gabrial Gomez claimed to be a “green Republican” who looks down on those in his own party who “deny science.” Unfortunately, his claims are based in a denial of reality.

While Gomez touted his supposed “green” credentials, he declared his undying support for the dirty and dangerous Keystone XL pipeline in the same breath. That’s a position that’s totally out of line with any desire to protect the air we breath, the water we drink, and the planet we love for generations to come.

The facts about Keystone XL are simple: it would create no new Massachusetts jobs, it would threaten the water supply for millions of Americans, and it would dump more climate-disrupting carbon pollution into our atmosphere than if you put 37 million more cars on the road or built 51 new coal plants.

If Gomez thinks that’s “green,” he must be colorblind. And if Gomez has a problem with those who “deny science,” maybe he should look at the company he keeps.

While Gomez may be trying to tell voters that he is a different kind of Republican politician, he’s taking the same position of those in the Senate like Mitch McConnell who been pushing fossil fuel boondoggles like Keystone XL while denying climate disruption and causing disarray in Washington. But Gomez isn’t just taking McConnell’s lead on Keystone XL - he’s taking his money, too.

In fact, Mitch McConnell’s been trying to funnel campaign cash straight to Gomez, sending out a fundraising plea declaring Gomez as a crucial part of “a Republican majority in the Senate.” Minority Leader McConnell even said he would match three times any donation to as much as $32,000!

If Gomez has a problem with people in his party like McConnell denying science, maybe he should stop taking their money.  

Massachusetts deserves a Senator who will stand up for a better, cleaner future - not play politics with our air, our water, and the future of our planet. Luckily, there is a real “green” candidate on the ballot who has been championing clean energy and climate action for decades - Congressman Ed Markey.

Markey’s name was on the most significant piece of climate legislation to ever pass the U.S. House. His name was on the bill to end the tax handouts the nation’s largest oil companies rake in every year. He co-sponsored energy-efficiency legislation that would create more than 100,000 new American jobs and save families thousands of dollars on their electricity bills. He has supported life-saving protections from toxic mercury pollution that will prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths and 130,000 asthma attacks every year, and has voted to turn back assaults on the Clean Air Act and curb the emission of neurotoxins and other poisons from coal-fired power plants to help prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths every year.

The list goes on - and the best news is that Markey is making it a centerpiece of his campaign. In fact, the National Journal called Markey the “first real climate candidate.”

The difference in Massachusetts seems to be between rhetoric and reality. While Gabriel Gomez may be trying to convince voters he’s something he is not, Ed Markey has already proven what he is - an environmental hero.

--Sierra Club Media Team Intern Lauren Lantry

Paid for by the Sierra Club Political Committee, www.sierraclub.org, and authorized by The Markey Committee.




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