John Kasich acknowledges climate change but chooses to do nothing about it. Click here to tell him that do-nothing policies are no better than denying global warming.
The ever expanding balloon that is the Republican field for the presidency just got bigger with Ohio Governor John Kasich announcing his bid for the Oval Office this week. Gov. Kasich is not your typical Republican candidate when it comes to climate change -- in fact, he once remarked, "I am a believer -- my goodness I am a Republican -- I happen to believe there is a problem with climate change."1
But before you launch into your, "We've found a GOP climate realist!" victory dance, there's a lot you should know about Kasich's environmental and climate record. For starters, while embracing the reality of climate disruption in one breath, in his next he went on to say, "but I am not laying awake at night worrying the sky is falling." More important than what he says, is what he does -- and on that score Kasich is even worse. The Buckeye state is a leading producer and user of coal, which accounts for 63 percent of its electricity generation. And, Ohio's energy sector is the fifth dirtiest in America for our climate.2
Kasich seems to think that acknowledging climate reality is enough to keep him from being labeled a climate denier. That's why we need to send him a message that White House climate action speaks louder than climate acceptance. Click here to make sure he gets this message.
Kasich says he believes in climate change, but what he believes in even more is burning coal. And as a result, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio has the most toxic air quality in the country.3 You'd think a dubious accolade like this would cause the governor to take immediate action. But instead Kasich declared when it comes to coal, "We're going to burn it in Ohio, and we're not going to apologize for it."1 Kasich is as much a climate champion as Mahatma Gandhi was a war hawk.
While Kasich won't apologize for burning coal, he should consider apologizing to the 1,221 Ohioans whose lives were cut short due to pollution from coal power plants.4 Or maybe he could demonstrate contrition for signing a bill that made Ohio the first state to put a freeze on renewable energy investments, costing the state thousands of jobs and billions in investments -- not to mention better air quality and improved public health.5 Or he could apologize to Pope Francis for suggesting that it's "pantheistic" and un-Christian to protect public health and the health of the planet.6 While Ohions may need to hold their breath to avoid Kasich's toxic legacy, I'm not holding mine to wait for these apologies.
It's time to start calling Kasich what he really is, a CRINO, that is "Climate Realist In Name Only." But it will take all of us to show the republican field that a CRINO record like Kasich's will get you nowhere near 1600 Pennsylvania avenue. Click here to let him know, and then share with your friends and family online.
Thank You for taking (environmental) action,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Climate Crusaders
1. Geman, Ben. Ohio Gov. Kasich Concerned By Climate Change, But Won't "Apologize" For Coal. The Hill. May 2, 2012.
2. McDowell, Tim. This GOP Presidential Candidate Actually Believes In Climate Change. But He Doesn't Want To Fix It. Mother Jones. July 21, 2015.
3. Live Science Staff. Ohio Tops List Of Most Toxic States. Live Science. July 20, 2011.
4. McDermott, Matt. Coal Pollution Will Kill 13,200 Americans This Year & Cost $100 Billion In Additional Health Care Bills. Treehugger. September 13, 2010.
5. Baker, Brandon. Ohio Gov. John Kasich Signs Nation's First Renewable Energy Freeze. EcoWatch. June 13, 2014.
6. Real Clear Politics. John Kasich To Pope Francis: The Environment Shouldn't Be Worshiped -- "That Is Called Pantheism." June 21, 2015.