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While parts of his state have been ravaged by deluge this summer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is pretty sure most Americans don’t really care about the climate crisis.
McConnell has been rightly pushing for federal disaster relief to get Kentuckians back on their feet after the freak floods.
He did the same late last year when freak tornadoes swept through the state.
That kind of spending is OK.
But when he led Republican opposition to the massive bill Democrats hope will get the country off of carbon-emitting energy sooner, McConnell said people are concerned with other things.
“The American people are clear about their priorities. Environmental regulation is a 3% issue,” McConnell said in a statement on Sunday following the Senate’s passage of the bill. “Americans want solutions for inflation, crime, and the border,” he added, suggesting Democrats shouldn’t be spending on the climate crisis.
A failure to tie floods to climate spending
Neither of Kentucky’s Republican senators voted for the climate bill. The state’s Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, rarely mentions climate change and, as Inside Climate News has pointed out, he does not list climate change as a driving force behind his environmental policy.
Democrats like Beshear and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin who can succeed in coal states aren’t going to advertise the climate crisis.
“I wish I could tell you why we keep getting hit here in Kentucky,” Beshear said of the flooding and to the consternation of climate activists who know exactly why Kentucky keeps getting hit. “I wish I could tell you why areas where people may not have much continue to get hit and lose everything. I can’t give you the why, but I know what we do in response to it. And the answer is everything we can. These are our people. Let’s make sure we help them out.”
In the wake of tragic flooding might not be the time to caterwaul about the climate crisis, but as the rate of natural disasters increases, as scientists say it will, the dots will have to be connected for more Americans.