Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rick Berg and climate

North Dakota GOP House of Representatives nominee Rick Berg has not (yet at least) been among the many Republicans across the country jumping off into the murky deep end of unmitigated climate change denial, ignorance, and anti-science rhetoric. See these examples from Wisconsin, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Alaska just from the latter half of August. Of course when the Democrats are countering with Earl Pomeroy, then opposing action to fight climate change would not really distinguish the Republican. By Pomeroy's logic on climate he would also oppose curing cancer because of the subsequent medical and research job losses. But where does Berg stand?

Today's Herald gives some clue. We find out that Berg supports propping up Social Security using funds from oil extraction from federal lands like Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Berg cannot get enough of energy production, but there is no indication he has a clue about climate and the danger of continued fossil fuel use. Try an internet search including 'Rick Berg' and 'climate'. You might get the impression that Berg does not even know there is any climate besides 'business climate'.

We do find that recently Berg signed a pledge (PDF) to "oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue." The pledge is being circulated by the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, which would be better labelled Americans For The Prosperity Of Koch Industries or Americans for Climate Devastation.

He gives no sign of considering, much less considering addressing, the issue, but is unclear if Berg is in the kook pool when it comes to climate change. His pledge signing at least makes it clear that he does not believe there should be any cost to polluting and that the atmosphere is a dumping ground for carbon emissions from fossil fuel use regardless of how that damages the environment and thus costs us.

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