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January 28, 2014

Three Peas in an Oily, Oily Pod: A Look at the Republican SOTU Responders

Don't panic if you momentarily think your television is going haywire tonight. You may try to change the channel, only to see bizarrely similar images onscreen. You may mash the buttons on your remote only to hear similar words being uttered by different voices. Don't worry -- you aren’t hallucinating. You won't have to pay an expensive repair bill. You don't even need to change the batteries in your remote. You’re just stuck in the twilight zone that is... the Republican response to the State of the Union address.

Tonight, we're eager to hear what President Obama will say about clean energy and climate action. And it appears his Republican opponents are just as eager to respond, as no fewer than three different people will deliver rebuttals. For years, it's been standard practice for the opposing party to deliver a response to the president. But, just one response to one speech. Now, with the Republican Party increasingly fractured, constant jockeying for political position among factions means a mad dash for airtime that has Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rogers of Washington, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky each delivering a nationally televised response.

What's all that mean for our climate crisis? Not a whole heck of a lot. That's because even with three voices speaking, we shouldn't expect to hear one positive word about our booming clean energy economy, one sentence about why we have to act on climate, or even one hiccup about the dangers of dirty fossil fuels. Take a look at their records, and you’ll see why:

Cathy McMorris-Rogers

  • Lifetime Environmental Voting Score (LCV): 4%

  • Thinks fact that 97% of climate scientists agree on climate disruption is "inconclusive."

  • Took almost $177,000 from oil and gas special interests.

  • Signed the Koch brothers' pledge to vote against every meaningful climate action bill.

  • Voted against critical investments in job-creating clean energy like wind and solar.

Mike Lee

  • Lifetime Environmental Voting Score (LCV): 16%

  • Took almost $131,000 from oil, gas, and mining special interests.

  • Signed the Koch brothers' pledge to vote against every meaningful climate action bill.

  • Voted against critical investments in job-creating clean energy like wind and solar.

Rand Paul

  • Lifetime Environmental Voting Score (LCV): 8%

  • Thinks the 97% of climate scientists agreeing on climate disruption are "making up facts."

  • Took almost $260,000 from oil, gas, and mining special interests

  • Signed the Koch brothers' pledge to vote against every meaningful climate action bill.

  • Voted against critical investments in job-creating clean energy.

Given these three nearly identical records, Americans should fully expect these three voices to give the exact same speech -- or offer the exact same silence -- when it comes to climate action. It looks like they won't just be competing for airtime tonight -- they’ll also be competing for sand to bury their heads in.

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