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Sen. Jeff Bingaman, NM Democrat, To Retire

Feb 18, 2011

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Cue Another One Bites The Dust. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat has added his name to those senators, mostly Democrats, who are leaving the Senate.

Bingaman, in his fifth term, has been in the Senate since 1982. He's chair of the Senate Energy Committee.

As National Journal's Almanac of American Politics reports, Bingaman was a major proponent of the cap-and-trade proposal to rein in the greenhouse gases linked scientifically to global warming.

Bingaman is the fourth Democrat to announce his retirement. Two other senators, a Republican and independent, have also announced they won't seek re-election.

But cap-and-trade died in the last Congress and has little chance of being resurrected in the current one.

He won with his last election in 2006 with 71 percent of the vote. So he had a presumably safe seat which Democrats likely wouldn't have to spend a lot of money to defend. That has now changed.

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