Climate Politics

Coal Takes a Nosedive

Despite Trump’s efforts to save it, the most environmentally destructive fuel is fading quickly.

In the 2016 election, Trump pledged to save coal. Since then, his Administration has pulled out all the stops in this effort, including repeal of dozens of environmental regulations.  All for naught. In 2021, U.S. coal use will be 30% below what it is when Trump took office. Coal’s immediate situation is even worse, due …

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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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What Will Harris’s Nomination Mean for the Environment?

She’s been outspoken on climate and EJ issues, but her core interests may be elsewhere.

Kamala Harris has taken some strong positions on climate change and environmental justice.  Her nomination signals the extent to which the Democratic party now embraces those issues.  However, to the extent one can judge from her public record, her highest priority interests have been elsewhere during her time in the Senate. While campaigning for the …

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BP’s Surprising Pivot

An oil giant decides to face the future instead of fighting it.

With all that’s going on, it’s easy to miss what would in normal times be major news. On Tuesday, BP announced it was beginning to turn away from the oil business. The most significant thing may be this: BP stock rose after the announcement. BP has already sold its petrochemical business. It also announced that …

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Election 2020: Three Months till Election Day

The environmental are high: Trump has axed one regulation every two weeks for four years.

Since taking office, Trump has waffled on some issues and shuffled personnel, but on one thing he has held firm: eradicating legal protection of the environment.  His motto seems to be: No Regulation Left Standing. Something to keep in mind, as we head toward Election Day.  That’s three months away, but some states begin early …

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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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What Did We Know and When Did We Know It?

Nothing about Trump’s environmental policies has been a surprise. He won anyway.

One thing you can say about Donald Trump is that he didn’t hide the ball.  He told us exactly what he would do about the environment. Many people who say they care about climate change or the environment apparently didn’t care enough to come to the polls and vote for his opponent.  People who liked …

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Failures of the Heart

Does anyone in the Administration actually care about police killings? Or public health? Or future generations?

“I REALLY DON’T CARE DO U?” That slogan embodies much about the Trump Administration. That includes Trump’s response to the death of George Floyd and the ensuing demonstrations. But it includes much else. Including police killings and the coronavirus. “I REALLY DON’T CARE DO U?” is emblazoned on a jacket of Melania Trump’s. She wore …

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Election 2020: The Battle for the Senate

Control of the Senate will determine the environmental views of new judges and whether any environmental legislation can pass.

Control of the Senate will have a big impact on post-2020 policy in many areas, notably including the environment (and climate policy in particular). Right now, as best as I can tell, the Republicans still have a small edge, but that edge may be eroding. To get a sense of the state of play in …

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Climate Change in the General Election

How much talk about climate are we likely to hear?

Climate change has surfaced as an issue in the Democratic primaries much more than it has in past elections. What’s likely to happen in the general election? Start with Trump. Given his freeform speaking style, he’s likely to at least touch on climate change and fossil fuels from time to time. The question is how …

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