I’m in Washington DC this week, lobbying on behalf of the National Wildlife Federation on a sportsmen campaign to push global warming legislation. Overall, Oregon’s congressional representatives are very receptive to cap and trade Carbon Dioxide reduction plans, including the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2007, Safe Climate Act of 2007, and Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act in the Senate. Four of the state’s seven representatives are cosponsoring climate change legislation, and the lone Democrat holdout Hooley, has said she would endorse the strongest climate change legislation that comes up for a vote.
Unfortunately, Senator Gordon Smith and his staff opted not to talk to us after we made the cross country journey to Washington DC this week. Despite not returning phone calls, we stopped by Smith’s office and waited to talk to one of his assistants. We were told that Gordon Smith’s legislative correspondent, Cort Bush would be available after a meeting; after they asked to see our materials, we were soon told that Cort didn’t have time for us anymore.
We are hunters and anglers — a significant portion of Smith’s base in Oregon. It’s one thing to be against climate change legislation or to have an issue with particular aspects of a bill, but it’s another to ignore important constituents in an election year. Why Smith’s aid could not explain the Senator’s position is beyond me, but it seems like a huge mistake.
I’ve also attached a video of another climate change lobbyist who had problems with a difficult Senator. Kent John is owner and lead guide of Great Alaska Adventure Lodge and he talks about the changes he’s seen on the Kenai River and the fact that his Senator Ted Stevens doesn’t even believe Global Warming exists.
I have a lot more detailed information that I need to put up here from the visit and plan to in the coming days, but I just had to get these videos up while they’re fresh.
Update: I was recently asked to edit this because Gordon Smith did meet with some of my fellow climate change advocates several weeks ago in his Portland office. Nonetheless, he didn’t meet with us on our trip. His staffers claim they didn’t get our phone calls until the day we arrived — which is bullshit because I’ve got emails going back two weeks prior to the trip from the NWF organizers saying “we’re still trying to get a meeting with Smith, but they haven’t gotten back to us…” However, it would be prudent to note that Smith did in fact meet with some Oregonian sportsmen and acknowledged climate change is a problem, though he still doesn’t support the Warner-Lieberman bill.