environmental politics

Today Versus 2008

Despite Trump’s efforts, he couldn’t actually reset the clock to the pre-Obama era.

Obama moved us forward. Trump moved us backwards. Are we back where we began? No. Biden starts from a significantly stronger position than Obama did in 2008. In 2008, like today, the outgoing Republican President had adamantly opposed climate action, favored the oil and gas industry, and turned a cold shoulder toward environmental regulation.  Trump …

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Climate Action on the West Coast

Three liberal states with very different climate records.

Although California, Oregon, and Washington are often  considered liberal bastions, they differ widely in how much they’ve been able to do in climate policy.  The scale of their responses has been pretty much proportional to how much of their populations are urban, with conservative rural areas in each state that resist climate action. California.  California …

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Renewable Energy in the Southwest

Despite Trump, the needle has kept moving in the right direction.

The sun is intense in the desert Southwest.  During the Trump years, the federal government has hard worked to promote fossil fuels. Trump also has been no friend of renewable energy. This has not stopped progress toward a cleaner energy mix in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Arizona Arizona’s current power mix is about …

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Bringing Back Earmarks to Save the Climate

Climate action will require overcoming the US democracy deficit.

The U.S. has a democracy deficit.  Winning national majorities isn’t enough to get majorities in Congress. This creates headwinds against climate action.  In the short-run at least, legislative earmarks might be one way to overcome the problem. The House is already planning to bring back earmarks, but the the heart of the problem is the …

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Things to be Thankful For (2020 edition)

Trump has done his best to eliminate federal protection for the environment. But there have been many positive signs.

Nearly four years into the Trump Administration, we’re now accustomed to waking up every morning to learn about a new attack on the environment.  It’s also been an awful year in terms of the pandemic. But there are some things to be thankful for. Here’s how I started a similar post in 2017, nearly a …

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Battle for the Senate: 2022 Preview

We’ve just been through one big election.  But it’s only 2 years till the next one.

We’re only two years away from the next Senate elections. Granted, we’re not completely done with the 2020 Senate elections given the Georgia runoffs.   But just 24 months from now, control of the Senate will again be at stake.  On average, the President’s party loses two Senate seats in the off-year elections.  That’s not a …

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What Next for Climate Policy?

The election outcome is still contested. Here are three possible scenarios.

We probably won’t be sure for a while who will be our next President.  The GOP will probably control the Senate but even that isn’t completely certain yet. Rather than play forecaster, I thought it would be helpful to look at how various outcomes will impact climate policy. Since we’re all suffering a lot of …

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The Races to Watch 

These are the down-ticket races most likely to impact environmental policy.

The presidency is by far the most important office on the line, but there are a host of down-ticket rates that will shape energy and environmental policy over the next few years. I’ve included links to previous posts that discuss the environmental views of the candidates in more detail. The Senate Control of the Senate …

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Down to the Wire: The Battle for the Senate

Control of the Senate will matter tremendously, regardless of who’s in the White House.

According to political forecaster Cook Political, “Suddenly, nearly anything is possible in the Senate races.” After yesterday’s vote to confirm Amy Barrett, I probably don’t need to tell you how important Senate control is. In the next session of Congress, control of the Senate will determine the environmental views of new judges and whether any …

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“The Gaffe”

Will Democrats pay a price for Biden’s “inconvenient truth” about the future of oil?

Although no one seemed to notice it while the debate was underway, political commentators are now abuzz about a “gaffe” by Biden about the future of gas and oil. Other aspects of the final presidential debate were covered in Cara Horowitz’s insightful post on Friday.  I want to hone in on “the gaffe” in this …

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