2016 election cycle will yield pipeline debate

It happened. There was a Republican wave and now Congress is dominated by the Republican Party. But that’s OK, because there are only two more years until 2016, when Democrats have a much more favorable map and a second chance.

Instead of talking about what the elections mean, or forecasting into 2016, I would like to draw attention to something that has been under the radar in recent months, global warming. Much of the attention from the last election cycle had to deal with President Obama, the Affordable Care Act and where politicians stood on those issues.

In the 2016 cycle, I expect a rise in global warming as a talking point. I expect this for a couple of reasons, one being the Democratic primaries for the presidential election. Primaries are generally host to politicians trying to appeal to its party’s base in order to get the nomination, followed by a run to the center in order to get the moderate vote. I am sure the 2016 cycle will be no different and will follow this same trend, so nominee hopefuls will all be trying to cast themselves as the most environmentally friendly candidate.

Another reason I see the issue returning to the stage is because of the Keystone Pipeline. During the president’s speech as well as Sen. Mitch McConnell’s, there was talk of finding common ground upon which to compromise. One of those areas where common ground can be found is in the Keystone Pipeline. Sen. McConnell knows, as does Obama, that there are enough votes in the Senate to pass the legislation allowing the pipeline.

When the pipeline starts to be debated on the floor, I bet that the environmental groups, ranching group and Native groups will all start to garner more media attention. To top it all off, another reason that global warming will again enter the public debate is because of a change in leadership in the House. With the election of new House members and the retirement of others, there is always a change in who leads what committee. One such change is happening to the environmental committee in the House; they are getting a new chairman — Jim Inhofe.

Inhofe is controversial because he is a climate-change denier, even going so far as to say that the Bible is proof that climate change is not real. As you can tell there is a clash of ideals; how can someone that doesn’t believe in climate change help prevent it? Well, that question is to be made into a campaign issue. Already the Democratic Party is setting up plans that center in on Inhofe’s comments as chairman, using his actions as a way to paint Republicans as sell-outs to big money and out of touch with the American people. Only time will tell whether or not the Democrats succeed in their objectives, but global warming will for sure come back into the limelight.

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