2020 election

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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Bold But Realistic Climate Actions

Here’s what a new President could actually do.

What options are available to a new President taking office in 2021?  Let’s assume a favorable scenario for climate action in which Dems take unified control of the government (White House, Senate, House) in 2021.  What then? The first theme to keep in mind is that the Democrats will still be subject to some significant …

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Looking Ahead: Inauguration Day, 2021.

There are 3 plausible scenarios for the new balance of power.

Inauguration day is a year from today.   What will the balance of power be then?  The House doesn’t seem to be in play.  Democrats have an uphill fight to win the Senate,  so a GOP White House would probably mean a GOP Senate.  That leaves three likely scenarios, with different implications for environmental law. Scenario …

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What to Expect from Trump’s Second Term

Basically, a second term would be like Trump’s first term, but worse.

Here we are, one year from Election Day. As of now, there is a significant chance that Trump will be reelected in 2020, though experts disagree on the precise odds.  In terms of the environment, what would his second term look like? The President. It’s conceivable that Trump might rethink his policy positions after reelection, …

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What Do the Candidates’ Climate Proposals Tell Us?

There is a big disconnect between climate proposals and political reality.

Some people were upset because there wasn’t a question about climate change at the last Democratic debate. Admittedly, that’s a lost opportunity to highlight the importance of the issue.  But the significance of the candidates’ various positions on climate change is limited. Let me start with what they don’t tell us. The main thing they …

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The filibuster and climate change legislation

Should we eliminate the Senate filibuster to advance climate change legislation

As the Democratic Presidential primary season has unfolded, a number of the candidates have argued for eliminating the filibuster in the Senate completely.  (It is currently gone for confirmation of nominations of judges and executive branch officials, but remains for substantive legislation.)  So has former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. One of the key …

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