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Forum: Congressional Candidates Positions on Climate Change | 2016 Elections

Ohio

NASA and the nation's leading scientific organizations say we are causing climate change. In addition to the country's top scientific institutions, the U.S. military, leading companies in the oil industry (such as Shell and British Petroleum), physicist Stephen Hawking, and pretty much all credible scientists say pollution is causing the planet to get warmer. In addition, hundreds of other countries on this planet have reached the same conclusions about climate change. Despite the already observable effects of climate change and the overwhelming consensus among credible organizations that say climate change already happening, a shockingly large portion of the population believes climate change is a 'hoax' or a 'liberal conspiracy'. Much of this ignorance is propagated by organizations with ties to fossil fuels, and it is unacceptable that some leaders in Congress are facilitating this spread of misinformation for political reasons.

Representatives for Ohio in the United States Congress have an important role in supporting efforts to solve climate change. Let's see where your representatives in Congress stand on this issue. You can enter a location to find your representative in the House.

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Ashburn Virginia is in Virginia District 10

house: Barbara Comstock
senate: Timothy Kaine
senate: Mark Warner

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U.S. Senate Ohio 2016

Senator Rob Portman represents Ohio with a moderate view on climate change by Republican standards (he acknowledges it exists, and agrees that humans are causing climate change, but does not agree that humans are 'significantly' causing climate change). Thus, while backing a few efforts towards energy efficiency, he has voted to block all measures proposed in Congress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Rob Portman has received enormous campaign contributions from the energy, oil and gas industry, and is viewed favorably by anti-environment groups that oppose efforts to address climate change. Although Rob Portman's move to acknowledge that climate change is a problem that needs addressing is respectable, action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is needed before we can celebrate his independence from an ideology that opposes regulating pollution in this country. Ted Strickland is challenging for Portman's senate seat in 2016. As governor for Ohio from 2007-2011, Strickland earned some respect from environmental groups for developing clean energy in the state, and conservation groups are backing Ted Strickland in this 2016 senate race, in part for his commitment to addressing climate change. Joseph DeMare is also running as a green party candidate supporting efforts to address climate change.
When it comes to energy policy, the contrast between Senator Portman and myself is very clear. Senator Portman doesn’t believe humans are significantly responsible for climate change and has voted to prevent the EPA from regulating carbon emissions. He's also voted to gut the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and has voted against tougher regulation of carcinogens like arsenic, benzene, and dioxin. At the same time, Senator Portman has voted again and again to protect tax breaks for large oil and gas companies. That's why Moms Clean Air Force said Senator Portman was 'leading the charge against clean air in Congress,' and the Sierra Club said Portman was 'acting on behalf of polluters who back him financially, rather than on behalf of Ohioans.' - Ted Strickland Campaign Website
Sherrod Brown is Ohio's other senator. He generally supports efforts on climate change, and is up for re-election in 2018.
U.S. House Ohio 2016

District 1: Steve Chabot represents district 1 in Ohio, which includes parts of Cincinnati, with a view that climate change is not caused by humans. He opposes efforts in Congress to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, and repeatedly is quoted as saying science is inconclusive on climate change. Michele Young is challenging in 2016 for this seat. We think, but are unable to confirm, she supports efforts to address climate change in Congress.
District 2: Brad Wenstrup represents district 2, which runs along the Ohio river in southwestern Ohio. Brad Wenstrup is has signed a "No Climate Tax Pledge" which could be summarized as a conservative commitment to do nothing about climate change pollution. He opposes regulating greenhouse gas emissions in Congress. William R. Smith is the Democratic underdog candidate in 2016 for this seat - we have not been able to confirm his position on climate change.
District 3: Joyce Beatty represents district 3, which includes part of Columbus. She supports efforts on climate change. John Adams is challenging as a Republican, offering no indication he breaks with his party's position against addressing climate change pollution in Congress.
"The faith community agrees: climate change isn’t a GOP or Democratic issue—it’s a 'people issue.'" #ActOnClimate - Joyce Beatty on Twitter
District 4: District 4 includes Lima, Mansfield, Marion, and Sidney. Jim Jordan represents the district with a view that opposes nearly all conservation and environment measures, and he voted against every proposed effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or address climate change in any way. He also voted for every bill that favored the fossil fuel industry. Jim Jordan favors more drilling and his voting record in Congress proves he is anti-environment. Janet Garrett is challenging for this seat in 2016, with a position that favors addressing climate change.
"We have to begin to address climate crisis in a robust way or else we will not have a future. I think we're beyond the speculation on this." - Janet Garrett
District 5: District 5 in northwestern ohio is represented by Bob Latta. Bob Latta is against legislation to address climate change, arguing that reducing greenhouse gas pollution will raise energy costs, which will harm businesses in the district. Latta repeatedly refers to the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while ignoring the costs and challenges future generations will face when dealing with climate change and more extreme weather. Bob Latta sides with coal fired power plants and energy companies on this issue, and would prefer that current pollution levels be allowed to continue. James L. Neu, Jr. is challenging as a Democrat.  When asked about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, James Neu said, "We can reduce greenhouse gases by moving towards solar and wind to produce our electricity. We still will need to use coal but we cannot be dependent only on coal or natural gas."  He also clarified, "We cannot regulate companies out of business, but there has to be some regulations."
"Over 86 percent of Ohio's electricity is generated by coal. The costs incurred from this legislation on electricity generators will be passed along to the consumers. Not only will farmers in my district, and throughout the country, be burdened with not being able to afford to operate their farms, this legislation will raise their electric rates, gasoline rates and place an even larger burden on their family." - From Bob Latta's statement on climate change legislation
My opponent doesn't want to step on the toes of big business and actually do anything to protect our natural resources. My opponent claims that voting for clean energy will cost the farmers...We in the 5th are already paying high electrical costs, not because of the environment but because of corporate greed. If we do not realize that the environment needs our help, we are doomed. - James L. Neu, Jr
District 6: District 6 is in a southeast portion of Ohio. Bill Johnson represents district 6 by calling the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions "un-American". Bill Johnson refers to Obama's efforts to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants as a "war on coal". Coal-fired plants operated by power companies are a huge source of carbon pollution in this country, and there are several operating in this district. Michael Lorentz is challenging as a Democrat - we have not been able to confirm his position on climate change - district 6 is heavily influenced by the presence of coal-based business in the area.
District 7: District 7 includes Canton and areas south and southeast of Cleveland and Akron. The district is represented by Bob Gibbs.  Bob Gibbs is firmly against all legislation to address climate change that has come his way. He consistently votes to support the oil and fossil fuel industry. Roy Rich is running for the seat in 2016 as a Democrat, and he is challenging the Republican leadership's position against addressing climate change.
"They continue to take from the middle class and the poor, while continuing to give larger and larger tax breaks to the ultra rich and corporations. They continue to try to abridge women's rights, deny climate change, and attempt to gut environmental protections." - Roy Rich's Website
District 8: District 8, which includes Hamilton, is represented by Warren Davidson. He holds anti-science views on climate change and is against regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Stances like these earned him John Boehner's title as House Speaker, representing the Republican leadership in the House. He has the support of groups that are against environmental regulations, and is running unopposed in 2016.
District 9: Marcy Kaptur represents district 9, a weird-shaped district that includes various small sections along Lake Erie. Marcy Kaptur is not consistently for the environment, but she has supported climate change legislation, notably by negotiating return favors in the form of renewable energy investments in her district. Donald Larson is challenging for this seat in 2016; His website includes statements arguing against environmental legislation.
District 10: Mike Turner represents this southwestern Ohio district and is on the record against regulating greenhouse gas emissions, claiming these measures will harm farmers. Robert Klepinger is challenging as a Democrat for this seat in 2016 - he supports green energy and says solar and renewable energy should be subsidized.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in particular, has passed on an unprecedented number of regulations to our farming community. In response to this, I have cosponsored H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011. This legislation, which has passed the House and awaits Senate consideration, limits the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in respect to climate change. This also comes in response to the Clean Air Act, which includes planned restrictions on vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases, to be implemented in 2012 and 2017. - Mike Turner's House website
District 11: Marcia Fudge represents this district that is situated in the Cleveland/Akron area. Marcia Fudge has voted to support efforts to address climate change in Congress. Beverly A. Goldstein is challenging for the seat in 2016. Beverly Goldstein is on the record claiming climate science is not conclusive. She's argued against measures to reduce the pollution that causes climate change, saying these measures are harming the coal and energy business.
District 12: Pat Tiberi represents this district in and around Columbus. He is listed as a climate change denier, but has recently adopted a changed position that seems to acknowledge that climate change is real. It remains to be seen if Pat Tiberi will back legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which Republicans stand firmly against. It's a welcome shift towards reality to acknowledge that climate change is a real problem that needs addressing, but so far we have yet to see a candidate shift from full denial to supporting action on addressing climate change. Ed Albertson is challenging for this seat in 2016. His campaign website includes an official statement supporting taking measures to reduce carbon emissions.
Climate destabilization is the greatest threat our world faces today and it's our moral obligation to future generations to reduce that threat. We need a comprehensive national energy policy that focuses on reducing carbon emissions and shifts our current economic incentives from dirty fuels to clean renewable energy industries. - Ed Albertson
District 13: An area that includes Youngstown, District 13 is represented by Tim Ryan, who favors efforts to address climate change. Richard Morckel is challenging as a Republican in 2016.  Richard Morckel's main campaign themes are against government spending. We have found no evidence he breaks with his party's position against regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
"We know climate change is a dangerous and growing threat to our children, our families and our national economy. As extreme weather continued to increase in strength and consistency it is even more important that we act now – we cannot afford to wait any longer to reduce our carbon pollution and begin to stem this tide. The Clean Power Plan is an opportunity to strengthen our communities and economy by investing in clean energy technologies and increasing our efficiency." - Tim Ryan
District 14: David Joyce represents district 14, a rural area that includes Geauga County and the northeast corner of the state. David Joyce has tried to appear to move to the center on the environment, but his voting record in Congress is nearly 100% anti-environment, and he is against efforts in Congress to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. David Joyce says he supports pushing for more drilling for oil. While claiming to want clean air, he is supporting more oil and coal development rather than reduced reliance on the fossil fuels that cause climate change. Michael Wager is challenging for the seat in 2016 with a position that leans more towards developing clean energy.
"We all want clean air, we all want clean water, but guess who's buying coal—China, India. No restrictions—they're burning it. My daughter was over there, she was in China, she was in Vietnam. In Vietnam it was crystal clear; her pictures in China looked like she was shooting them through a gray screen because of the smog. We should be selling them our technology and how to use it in a clean way, and selling them our coal." - David Joyce
"The science of climate change requires us to seek changes in our national strategy and comprehensive energy legislation to address this issue. We must balance environmental protection with economic stability and growth." - Michael Wager
District 15: District 15 includes areas south of Columbus and the town of Athens. Steve Stivers represents the district by claiming that humans do not cause climate change. He's voted against efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Congress, and is on the President's list of representatives in Congress that are denying the facts on climate change. Steve Stivers' votes in Congress indicate that he is against developing clean energy and for allowing pollution from burning coal to continue unregulated. Steve Stivers has received numerous donations and support from fossil fuel companies. Scott Wharton is challenging for the seat in 2016.  Scott Wharton supports efforts to develop clean energy, reduce pollution, and believes Congress should pass legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
District 16: District 16 includes areas east of Akron and parts of Cleveland. It is represented by Jim Renacci, who is against regulating greenhouse gas emissions and supports energy policies that favor coal and fossil fuels. His record of voting is along party lines, and he supports Donald Trump.  Donald Trump claims, ridiculously, that climate change is a hoax. Keith Mundy is challenging for this seat in 2016 with a position that favors progress on climate change.
"The scientists are virtually unanimous that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and is already causing devastating problems in the United States and around the world. And, they tell us, if we do not act boldly the situation will only become much worse in years to come in terms of drought, floods, extreme storms and acidification of the oceans." - Keith Mundy
Ohio's Governor, John Kasich, acknowledges the reality of climate change and has a relatively moderate stance on the issue by Republican standards.
I know that human beings affect the climate. I know it's an apostasy in the Republican Party to say that. I guess that's what I've always been—being able to challenge some of the status quo. - Ohio Governor John Kasich


See also: Disinformation on Climate Change is Staggering

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