Coal Ally Defeats Coal Ally in Indiana Senate Race

Evan Bayh’s opposition to President Obama’s climate policies wasn’t enough.

Michael Conroy/AP

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Republican Rep. Todd Young has defeated former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh in the Indiana Senate race after a hard-fought contest in which both candidates ran pro-coal campaigns.

Evan Bayh, the state’s former Democratic senator, is one of the few Democrats this year to champion the coal industry. On his campaign website, he touted his opposition to a cap-and-trade plan backed by President Barack Obama during his first term that would have limited carbon emissions. In 2009, Bayh said on MSNBC’s Hardball that the bill put jobs at risk in coal states, including Indiana.

In line with his pro-coal stance, Bayh said during a debate last month that he opposes Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal power plants. “I don’t agree with the Clean Power Plan,” he said. “That’s something I disagree with Mrs. Clinton on. I think those things would be harmful to Hoosier consumers.” Bayh’s campaign website declared: “Evan Bayh supports Indiana’s coal industry, including opposing the EPA’s coal rules.”

Like Bayh, Young opposes cap-and-trade proposals and the Clean Power Plan. Young is an outspoken opponent of the so-called “War on Coal” and calls coal “a vital part of ensuring Hoosiers have access to affordable electricity.” In 2014, as a candidate for the US House of Representatives, Young cited his support for “energy efficiency measures” such natural gas, while saying that carbon dioxide emissions are a global problem and that the United States should not “unilaterally tax our power, our people, to solve a global problem.” The previous year, according to the Bloomington Herald Times, he told a group of protesters gathered outside his office, “I don’t deny climate change. I would put myself in the agnostic category.”

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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