2020 election

North Carolina: A Tight Senate Race with High Environmental Stakes

Control of the Senate may hang in the balance.

In the Tar Heel State, Republican Incumbent Thom Tillis faces a tough face against challenger Cal Cunningham. This race is central to Democratic hopes to flip the Senate. The candidates have contrasting environmental views. Thom Tillis. When Tillis ran in 2014, his main claim to fame was championing deregulation in the North Carolina legislature, which …

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Election 2020: The Battle for the Senate

Whatever happens to the White House, control of the Senate will be crucial.

Today, I’ll look at how key races have shifted in the past six month, and why this matters for environmental law. We’ve just finished the Democratic Convention, and the GOP Convention is underway. But control of the Senate may be equally important.It’s crucial to any president’s legislative agenda and judicial appointments. Senate control gives an …

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The Draft Democratic Platform and the Environment

The Democrats are promising bold climate action but not committing to details.

The Republicans have decided not to update their 2016 platform, but the Democrats now have a draft of their 2020 platform. The platform essentially calls for aggressively moving beyond Obama’s actions (and eliminating Trump’s).  For those who are in a rush, I’ll start with the takeaways. Key Points Here are some of the most important aspects …

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Election 2020: Update on the Senate

Senate control will matter a lot, regardless of who’s in the White House.

Control of the Senate will determine the environmental views of new judges and whether any environmental legislation can pass.  In August, I’ll start looking at the environmental stakes in specific Senate races. Here’s why Senate control is so important and where things stand right now. Basically, the question is whether Mitch McConnell retains his grip …

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Election 2020: State Legislatures

The Outlook for State Climate Policy Might Improve

The key political races aren’t just about the White House or Congress.  Control of state legislatures will also be important in shaping climate and energy policy — not to mention their ultimate effect on the composition of the U.S. House due to redistricting. One of my themes is the importance of state government to climate …

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D.C. and Puerto Rico are not the same.

Blanket calls for D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood miss a critical difference: D.C. is the American capital. Puerto Rico is an American colony.

“D.C. and Puerto Rico should be states. Pass it on.” With passage of the D.C. statehood bill in the House of Representatives last Friday, variations on this statement have been gaining traction as a liberal rallying cry. Because they are not states, neither D.C. nor Puerto Rico have voting representation in Congress. The votes of …

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Despite Trump

Climate action outside DC is far broader and deeper than when he took office.

Trump remains a grave threat to climate action and to the planet at large. But there actually has been significant progress on climate policy despite him.  Not so much in DC, of course. But outside the Beltway, climate policy has widened and deepened. At the state level, there has been a barrage of climate activity.  …

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Deja Vu All Over Again

There’s a new GOP Platform, same as the old one.

It appears that the GOP won’t have a new platform this year. Instead, they’re going to stick with their 2016 platform. You could see that as steadfastness or a lack of new ideas. In the environmental arena, 2016 is still where the GOP is stuck today, celebrating fossil fuels and rejecting climate action. Here are …

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Seven Months to Election Day (and Counting)

You may have forgotten, but the clock is still ticking.

You may not have been focused on this, but there will be a Presidential election seven months from today.  The stakes are enormous for environmental law.  In fact, those stakes can be measured in megatons of carbon.  There’s no question about Trump’s approach to environmental regulation. As of the beginning of this year, ninety-five environmental rollbacks …

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An Easy, No-Fuss, Climate Fix for that Big First Day in Office

No, not rejoining the Paris Agreement, though that’s a good idea too. Something else.

This is kind of like one of those recipe things you see: putting a gourmet meal on the table in five minutes.  But it’s more like: the one ingredient that will make all your recipes come out better.  More seriously, what I’m about to propose is very conventional, easily integrated into agency procedures, and a …

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