CPP Hawks and Ducks




Who supports the Clean Power Plan? Who’s a climate hawk, and who’s a climate duck? At Climate Hawks Vote, we score members of Congress not just on how they vote, but on how they lead. That includes publicly rallying behind President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. And that means not ducking comment on an ambitious, wide-reaching regulatory plan. So we did a quick roundup of support for the Clean Power Plan by members of Congress and Presidential candidates.




No one wants to go beyond the Clean Power Plan - with three important exceptions: The Clean Power Plan has been criticized by many outside observers for not going far enough. We expected to find some fierce elected climate hawks calling for stronger climate action. To our surprise, only three people propose doing more than the Clean Power Plan, and they’re named Hillary, Martin, and Bernie. No House or Senate Democrat has posted a statement calling for expansion of the Clean Power Plan.


Most Senate Democrats - 33 out of 46 - support the Clean Power Plan; those who don’t are mostly in the Midwest.. Three coal-state Democrats oppose it - Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Donnelly (IN), and - big shock! - Joe Manchin (WV). House Democrats are less willing to show support. Of the 188 House Democrats, only 78 have issued any public support at all, while 109 have so far ducked the issue and one opposes it.


Across the aisle, 28 Senate Republicans have signaled opposition and 25 have remained silent. Susan Collins (R-ME) has issued a extremely nuanced statement praising something, although we’re not quite sure that what she has in mind is the same as what the EPA has issued. 82 House Republicans have issued statements opposing the Clean Power Plan. Three - Martha McSally in AZ-02 and two Floridians, Jeff Miller (FL-01) and Vern Buchanan (FL-16) have issued statements we consider neutral. 162 House Republicans have remained silent to date. Update, October 25: Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) supports the plan.


Wannabe Senate Democrats: Tammy Duckworth (IL-08), Donna Edwards (MD-04), and Chris Van Hollen (MD-08), all seeking Senate spots, have signaled support. On the other hand, we’re especially concerned about the leadership, or lack thereof, by Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), Alan Grayson (FL-09), and Patrick Murphy (FL-18). Kirkpatrick has opposed the draft plan, but hasn’t yet issued a statement on the final plan. If she can’t support the President, how will she improve over the Democrats who ran to the right of Obama in 2014 Senate races and lost? Murphy and Grayson are running for Florida’s open Senate seat, and neither has said anything. The silence of Loretta Sanchez, running for Senate, is in keeping with her general disregard for climate. Update, September 28: Patrick Murphy supports the plan.


Presidential Candidates:

All three of the major Democratic presidential candidates want to go further. Hillary Clinton states: “we can, and must, go further.” Martin O’Malley wants to include large polluting sources other than power plants, and Bernie Sanders calls it a “step forward.” We didn’t include Jim Webb because this pro-coal, pro-Confederate flag so-called Democrat is running for President of 1861.


Not surprisingly, major Republican candidates oppose the Clean Power Plan; Scott Walker says it’s a buzz-saw to the economy, Ted Cruz calls it lawless and radical, and Jeb Bush calls it irresponsible and overreaching.



The 78 Democrats who have signalled support for the Clean Power Plan, either through press releases or social media:


Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03)

Jared Huffman (CA-02)

Mike Thompson (CA-05)

Doris Matsui (CA-06)

Jerry McNerney (CA-09)

Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11)

Nancy Pelosi (CA-12)

Barbara Lee (CA-13)

Mike Honda (CA-17)

Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)

Sam Farr (CA-20)

Lois Capps (CA-24)

Judy Chu (CA-27)

Ted Lieu (CA-33)

Xavier Becerra (CA-33)

Linda Sánchez (CA-38)

Mark Takano (CA-41)

Janice Hahn (CA-44)

Scott Peters (CA-52)

Diana DeGette (CO-01)

Ed Perlmutter (CO-02)

John Larson (CT-01)

Jim Himes (CT-04)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)

Hank Johnson (GA-04)

Bobby Rush (IL-01)

Mike Quigley (IL-05)

Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)

Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)

Chellie Pingree (ME-01)

John Sarbanes (MD-03)

Donna Edwards (MD-04)

Steny Hoyer (MD-05)

John Delaney (MD-06)

Chris Van Hollen (MD-08)

Jim McGovern (MA-02)

Niki Tsongas (MA-03)

Joe Kennedy (MA-04)

Katherine Clark (MA-05)

Seth Moulton (MA-06)

John Conyers (MI-13)

Brenda Lawrence (MI-14)

Betty McCollum (MN-04)

Keith Ellison (MN-05)

Lacy Clay (MO-01)

Annie Kuster (NH-01)

Donald Norcross (NJ-01)

Frank Pallone (NJ-06)

Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12)

Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03)

Steve Israel (NY-03)

Charlie Rangel (NY-13)

Joe Crowley (NY-14)

José Serrano (NY-15)

Eliot Engel (NY-16)

Paul Tonko (NY-20)

Louise Slaughter (NY-25)

Dina Titus (NV-01)

David Price (NC-04)

 Alma Adams (NC-12)

Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)

Brendan Boyle (PA-13)

Matt Cartwright (PA-17)

Jim Langevin (RI-02)

James Clyburn (SC-06)

Steve Cohen (TN-09)

Lloyd Doggett (TX-25)

Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)

Peter Welch (VT-AL)

Don Beyer (VA-08)

Gerry Connolly (VA-11)

Suzan DelBene (WA-01)

Rick Larsen (WA-02)

Derek Kilmer (WA-06)

Jim McDermott (WA-07)

Adam Smith (WA-09)

Denny Heck (WA-10)

Mark Pocan (WI-02)

John Garamendi (CA-03)


We hope that this list will grow.


One House Democrat has opposed the plan: Brad Ashford (NE-02).

No House Republicans support it. Martha McSally (AZ-02) praised EPA for scaling back the original plan, and Reid Ribble (WI-08) put out a press release focusing on biomass as carbon-neutral.


Special shoutouts to Janice Hahn (CA-44), for most striking visual in a tweet; Linda Sanchez, for environmental justice and smart politics - her press release links asthma among Hispanics of her district to the need for the Clean Power Plan - and Steve Israel (NY-03) for best snarky “war on breathing” tweet


Special note regarding Florida climate ducks: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is the only Florida Democrat to praise the plan; no other Florida Democrat has spoken. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) is the only Florida Republican to oppose the plan. Jeff Miller (FL-01) posted a neutral news report without commentary on his Facebook page, and Vern Buchanan (FL-16) asked “what do you think?” without an effort to slant the answer.


Republicans who have signaled opposition to the Clean Power Plan to date:


Bradley Byrne (AL-01)

Mike Rogers (AL-03)

Gary Palmer (AL-06)

Paul Gosar (AZ-04)

Matt Salmon (AZ-05)

Trent Franks (AZ-08)

French   Hill (AR-02)

Steve Womack (AR-03)

Bruce Westerman (AR-04)

Kevin McCarthy (CA-23)


Ken Calvert (CA-42)

Gus Bilirakis (FL-16)

Tom Price (GA-06)

Barry Loudermilk (GA-11)

Rick Allen (GA-12)

Mike Bost (IL-12)

John Shimkus (IL-15)

Jackie Walorski (IN-02)

Todd Rokita (IN-04)

Luke Messer IN-06)


Todd Young (IN-09)

Ed Whitfield (KY-01)

Brett Guthrie (KY-02)

Hal Rogers (KY-05)

Andy Barr (KY-06)

Steve Scalise (LA-01)

Bruce Poliquin (ME-02)

Dan Benishek (MI-01)

John Moolenaar (MI-04)

Tim Walberg (MI-07)


Mike Bishop (MI-08)

Candice Miller (MI-10)

Ann Wagner (MO-02)

Sam Graves (MO-06)

Billy Long (MO-07)

Jason Smith (MO-08)

Ryan Zinke (MT-AL)

Adrian Smith (NE-03)

Joe Heck (NV-03)

Cresent Hardy (NV-04)


Steve Pearce (NM-02)

Richard Hudson (NC-08)

Mark Meadows (NC-11)

Kevin Cramer (ND-AL)

Steve Chabot (OH-01)

Bob Latta(OH-05)

Bill Johnson (OH-06)

Bob Gibbs (OH-07)

John Boehner (OH-08)

Jim Renacci (OH-16)



Jim Bridenstine (OK-01)

Markwayne Mullin (OK-02)

Mike Kelly (PA-03)

Scott Perry (PA-04)

Bill Shuster (PA-09)

Tom Marino (PA-10)

Lou Barletta (PA-11)

Keith Rothfus (PA-12)

Mark Sanford (SC-01)

Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03)


Diane Black (TN-04)

Marsha Blackburn (TN-06)

John Ratcliffe (TX-04)

Joe Barton (TX-06)

Kay Granger (TX-12)

Mac Thornberry (TX-13)

Randy Weber (TX-14)

Bill Flores (TX-17)

Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)

Lamar Smith (TX-21)


Pete Olson (TX-21)

John Carter (TX-31)

Pete Sessions (TX-32)

Brian Babin (TX-36)

Chris Stewart (UT-02)

Jason Chaffetz (UT-03)

Dave Brat (VA-07)

Morgan Griffith (VA-09)

David McKinley (WV-01)

Evan Jenkins (WV-03)




Why have only about ⅓ of Republicans signaled opposition? We don’t believe that a single one will cross the aisle if a vote is taken - many have railed against the draft version and voted for the REINS bills. Rather, we think that opposition will grow once they’re done complaining about the Iran deal and Planned Parenthood and done with the August recess.



Details - Senate

We found more support on the Senate side. Out of the 46 Democrats (and Democratic-leaning independents), 33 Senators - over ⅔ of them - have issued supportive statements. 


The usual coal-state Dems oppose the CPP: Heitkamp (D-ND) Donnelly (D-IN), and Manchin (D-WV). Claire McCaskill (D-MO) hasn’t said anything one way or the other. Silent to date: Bill Nelson (D-FL), Maizie Hirono (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jon Tester (D-MT), and most of the Midwestern Democrats: Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). We applaud those Midwestern Democrats who have spoken out: Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), and Bob Casey (D-PA). Mark Warner (D-VA) is not normally confused with a climate hawk, but he stands with the President on backing the Clean Power Plan.


Loudest to date: a group of fierce climate hawks and Senate leaders - Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), took to the Senate floor to support the Clean Power Plan.


Many of the so-called moderate Republicans have remained silent, while those that have issued statements tend to be in leadership and/or coal country. We do expect some of those listed as “silent” to join the “opposition” column once they get the memo from the Koch brothers.


GOP Opposing Clean Power Plan

GOP Silent to date on Clean Power Plan

Lisa Murkowski (AK)

John McCain (AZ)

Tom Cotton (AR)

John Boozman (AR)

David Perdue (GA)

Johnny Isakson (GA)

Dan Coats (IN)

Pat Roberts (KS)

Mitch McConnell (KY)

Marco Rubio (FL)

Bill Cassidy (LA)

David Vitter (LA)

Roger Wicker (MS)

Roy Blunt (MO)

Steve Daines (MT)

Deb Fischer (NE)

Thom Tillis (NC)

John Hoeven (ND)

James Lankford (NE)

Tim Scott (SC)

Mike Rounds (SD)

John Thune (SD)

Ted Cruz (TX)

John Cornyn (TX)

Orrin Hatch (UT)

Shelley Moore Capito (WV)

John Barrasso (WY)

Mike Enzi (WY)

Jeff Sessions (AL)

Richard Shelby (AL)

Dan Sullivan (AK)

Jeff Flake (AZ)

Cory Gardner (CO)

Jim Risch (ID)

Mike Crapo (ID)

Mark Kirk (IL)

Joni Ernst (IA)

Chuck Grassley (IA)

Jerry Moran (KS)

Rand Paul (KY)

Thad Cochran (MS)

Ben Sasse (NE)

Dean Heller (NV)


Richard Burr (NC)

Rob Portman (OH)

Jim Inhofe (OK)

Pat Toomey (PA)

Lindsey Graham (SC)

Bob Corker (TN)

Lamar Alexander (TN)

Mike Lee (UT)

Ron Johnson (WI)


Note: Kelly Ayotte supports as of 10/25/2015


Methodology note:

We examined the press releases, facebook posts, and tweets by every member of Congress from August 3 to August 6 for statements regarding the Clean Power Plan. We separated out press releases from social media statements, but are treating all content equally, whether a thoughtful press release or a simple retweet of a @whitehouse tweet. We understand that legislators are in their districts, and we expect to update this scorecard as additional statements come in.


For Senators running for President (e.g., Graham, Paul, Rubio, Sanders) we are tracking statements made as Senators and separately tracking statements made on the campaign trail. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) supports the Clean Power Plan in both capacities.


Press Coverage:


SNL Energy takes a look at all the different ways in which Republicans can attack the Clean Power Plan beginning in fall 2015, citing our report.

Showing 1 reaction

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  • Patrick Mauro
    commented 2015-08-09 17:06:03 -0700
    this is exceptionally helpful. Thank you for your work.