Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), running for re-election in Virginia’s 9th Congressional district, is taking heat from his challenger, Morgan Griffith, for his support of the cap and trade. Griffith, who is putting up a strong challenge to Boucher, says that the vote to support cap and trade is a betrayal of the district’s coal and mining industries, a major provider of jobs.
Boucher, who calls himself the “go to guy” for the coal industry, voted “yes” to the House’s American Clean Energy and Security Act, which would have put a cap and trade system in place. Boucher is a key part of the liberal energy agenda, positioned in the leadership of the energy and commerce committee, and he says he got “the best deal for coal that I could.” Nevertheless, the cap and trade bill is immensely unpopular in mining districts, where coal and other industries often form the base of the local economy. Boucher scored a “D” on the Liberty Central Scorecard, voting for the stimulus bill and the student loan takeover in addition to his cap and trade vote.
The district generally leans Republican, although Boucher has represented the district for 14 years. This district is considered a “toss up” by Real Clear Politics even though Boucher is leading in the polls. It seems that it will take a major push for Griffith to overtake him, but given the anti-incumbent, anti-liberal wave, Boucher is no safe bet.