A Look at Congressman Lynch’s Environmental Record

Bottom line: It ain't good. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

All in the 112th Congress (i.e. the last two years):

Voted for HR 4348, to authorize Keystone XL pipeline.

Voted for HR 6213, to kill loan guarantees for renewable energy. As noted below, this is a big blow to Massachusetts. Cleantech creates jobs here. Big Oil, fracking, and other dirty energy forms don’t.

Refused to co-sponsor HR 601, which would require the government to stop giving the tax dollars of working people away to Big Oil.


In the name of fairness, there are a few areas where both Markey and Lynch have poor environmental records, listed below. But on the most important items, Lynch has been drinking the Republican Kool-aide and Ed Markey has stood up for the environment and for Massachusetts.

Refused to co-sponsor HR 261, to ban offshore oil drilling.

Refused to co-sponsor HR 492, which would have required oil companies to pay for the damage oil spills cause to the environment and the surrounding communities. What kind of person wants to allow a dangerous pipeline while simultaneously limiting the owners’ liability?

Refused to co-sponsor HR 572, allowing states and municipalities to set stronger environmental standards for the ports they host.

Refused to co-sponsor HR 1084, which would require companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to disclose the contents of their toxic discharges into the water supply as needed to protect the public health–the same requirement everyone else dumping crap into our water supply already has to meet. Only frackers get this special loophole.



Finally a response to his bogus claims on Keystone XL. This is basically a repost of my comments about Scott Brown in November.


Lynch supports Keystone XL because it would create jobs. Similarly for the dirty natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing (fracking) (Or at least doesn’t have the cojones to oppose it). So, question for Lynch and any other KXL cheerleaders: how many jobs will it create in Massachusetts? How many jobs will fracking create?

Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline would create several thousand temporary jobs in 6 Western and Midwestern states. In case anyone failed geography, Massachusetts is not one of those. The jobs would be in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Of the 2,650-4,500 construction workers hired nationally, about 10-15% would be local workers from those 6 states. See Cornell Global Labor Institute report,  (page 8-9). All of the 127 permanent jobs would of necessity go to locals in the 6 pipeline states. So maybe Massachusetts residents willing to relocate for a while could get a few of the remaining jobs. But we’re just one state in 50. Assuming Massachusetts residents get about 2% of the total jobs (in proportion to our share of national population), that’s at most 81 temporary jobs. This is not factoring in the possibility that the pipeline actually leads to a nationwide net loss of jobs, a risk mentioned in the same report. Massachusetts is especially in danger, since one of the biggest risks is that KXL crowds out investment in renewable energy, where Massachusetts has 71,000 jobs and creates more new jobs annually than KXL would in total.


And since Massachusetts isn’t a frackable location, fracking creates no jobs here,


Compare that to Cape Wind, which is expected to create up to 1000 temporary construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs. In Massachusetts. The permanent jobs alone are more than the temporary KXL jobs likely to go to Massachusetts construction workers. Anyone who wants to create jobs in Massachusetts should focus on helping renewable energy, by supporting programs such as the loan guarantees Stephen Lynch voted to kill. Dirty energy doesn’t create jobs in Massachusetts.

Recommended by kbusch, mark-bail, mel-warshaw, abs0628.


8 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I can take or leave cosponsorship.

    The important question for me is how did each ultimately vote on these bills.

    • Great Christopher's think alike...

      I agree. Not co-sponsoring a bill isn’t an issue – it’s the final vote.

      chrismatth   @   Mon 18 Feb 10:37 AM
    • I also agree

      for the most part. Failure to cosponsor is not the same thing as failure to vote green.

      But I am looking for leadership on environmental issues, especially climate change. So I do care about who has shown that, and it’s not even close.

      It will be interesting to see if Lynch tries to burnish his green credential versus attacking Markey for his environmental record.

  2. Thank you

    Thank you for putting all this info together — especially all the info about the tremendous (good) impact of clean energy investment in Massachusetts. This is great info for any of us who are out talking to voters in the next few months!

  3. Any quotes from Rep. Lynch on Keystone XL?

    I’m trying to find anything that Lynch has said publicly about KXL — I know he voted against the pipeline in the House, but is there anything in a press release or in a speech that he’s given?

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