It is well known that Rick Boucher, D-VA 9th District, has teamed up with John Dingell to prevent California from tightening its vehicle emissions standards. Here are a few things you probably didn't know about Rick Boucher. All you have to do is heed the advice of Deep Throat and "Follow the money." It also helps to look at his voting record as well.
Meet Rick Boucher, the man who wants to stop California from reducing vehicle emissions. Mr. Boucher represents the 9th Congressional District in Virginia. Boucher is chairman of the House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee. A quick look at a map of the 9th District tells you that this is Coal Country.
So let's follow the money. In 2006 he won reelection with over 67% of the vote. He raised $1.4 million in an election campaign he won by a 2-1 margin. 65% of the money came from political action committees (PACs). 88% of the PAC money came from business political action committees. Boucher spent not thin one dime of his own on getting reelected. The numbers are very similar for the 2002 election. The conclusion is forced: Rick Boucher is mostly financed by business.
So how did he vote before becoming a one man machine to prevent the reduction of auto emissions in California? The US Chamber of Commerce rated his voting record at 53%, a reasonably mixed record. On environmental issues again we have another mixed record. He voted no to the construction of new oil refineries. Oil refineries don't use a lot of coal. He voted yes on the Bush-Cheney energy policy. In 2001 he voted no on raising CAFE standards and no to funding to support alternative fuels. He did vote yes in 2007 on HR-6 that repealed oil company tax breaks and provided funds for alternative fuels. He voted no to drilling in ANWR. The LCV rated his environmental voting at 75%, a pretty good environmental record. According to the Washington Post Boucher votes with the Democratic Party 96% of the time.
Why would a Democratic congressman with a reasonable voting record want to lead an assault on the EPA's ability to regulate emissions? The Attorney General for the state of California termed Boucher's efforts "a death blow to California’s pioneering efforts to restrict tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions and a blatant assault on the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to fight global warming."
Maybe the Washington Post is onto something when they playfully termed Boucher the D-Big Coal. Boucher's bill "would halt recent moves by states to limit the emission of greenhouse gases that cause climate change".
Maybe this whole bill was a bogus effort to begin with. Perhaps Boucher and Dingell knew all along that Pelosi would never allow their bill to make it to the floor of the House? Back in their respective congressional districts Boucher would appear as attempting to help the coal industry, while Dingell could say he was attempting to assist the automakers. Maybe the whole thing was nothing more than a legislative game. If it was it certainly is giving the Democratic Party a black eye.
What in the world is going on here?