environmental politics

The Case Against Sulking

States will only lose out if they refuse to cooperate with the Clean Power Plan.

Mitch McConnell has urged states to refuse to submit plans if the Clean Power Plan is upheld by the Court.  He has been accused of inciting lawless behavior on the part of state governments.  Let me come to his defense on this.  (How often do I get to do that??) The states are under no legal obligation …

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News from a Warming World

Coal versus wind power; China’s air; poll results; Ted Cruz; arctic ice.

There’s been a lot of interesting environmental news recently, much of which seems to have gotten little notice. The topics range from U.S. wind power (growing) to U.S. coal power and Arctic sea ice (both shrinking), with a bit of Ted Cruz to spice things up. Here’s the round-up: Out with coal, in with wind. The …

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Five Governor Races to Watch

The Senate races are getting a lot of attention this year. But what happens in statehouses also matters. Most directly, it matters for the folks who live there. But governorships are often proving grounds for politicians who later emerge on the national scene. Today, I’ll focus on a handful of races that look like they …

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What Does the High Profile of Environmental Issues in this Election Mean for the Future?

Environmental issues have been surprisingly visible in this campaign – nearly every Senate candidate gives them prominent attention.  The New York Times reports that they are also the third most common topic for political ads in this cycle.  The evidence they report shows, not surprisingly, that coal and oil are big issues in key states: …

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After November, the Deluge?

What will the Republicans do if they take control of the Senate? Will this be Armageddon for Obama’s environmental policies, as both Democrats and Republicans insist?  The truth is likely to be less dramatic, though still bad from an environmental perspective. Greenwire had a very interesting piece about that on Friday. Both Republican and Democratic …

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2014 Senate Races and the Environment: Georgia and North Carolina

Two GOP candidates: a cipher on environmental issues and a Romney clone.

Last week, I looked at the Republican Senate candidates in the neighboring states of Arkansas and Louisiana.  This week, we turn to two other Southern neighbors, Georgia and North Carolina.  (Before you rush to email me that they’re not neighbors because South Carolina is between them, take another look at the map — Georgia and …

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Why Does Mitch McConnell Hate the Environment?

McConnell’s environmental record is terrible — worse than Rand Paul or Jim Inhofe.

Mitch McConnell hates the environment. When I say McConnell hates the environment,  I mean that he’s an environmental disaster.  The environment would be in better hands if he were replaced as the Senate Republican leader by Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. Here’s a fun fact: Mitch McConnell’s environmental record is twice as bad as Ted …

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Rand Paul versus Clean Water

Rand Paul’s plan to cut wetlands protection and make enforcement against polluters impossible.

Rand Paul recently won a big victory in the straw poll held by CPAC,the Conservative Political Action Conference.  In the environmental area, his signature measure is the Defense of Environment and Property Act. On its surface, the goal of the law is to cut back on federal jurisdiction over wetlands. The bill would drastically cut back …

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The Rhetoric of Cap and Trade

Different ways of framing the concept of cap and trade help drive the public debate.

Discussions of cap and trade tend to frame it in various ways, which often skews the debate.  These different frameworks guide the thoughts of both supporters and critics, sometimes in surprising ways.  There are four different ways to talk about cap and trade, and they tend to lead the debate in very different directions. The …

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Climate Denial

One key question is whether these statements amounted to factual accusations that Mann had engaged in scientific misconduct.

A D.C. trial judge recently refused to dismiss climate scientist Michael Mann’s libel lawsuits against the National Review and the Competitiveness Institute.  There are some serious constitutional barriers against such libel suits, which are designed to provide ample breathing room for free speech.  Is this one of the rare cases that can jump the hurdles?

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