environmental politics

Two Months from Election Day

Who will get control of the Senate? And why does that matter for the environment?

We’re now two months from election day. This is a challenging electoral cycle for the Democrats, given inflation, the continuing effects of COVID, the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, and other woes. With turnout possibly boosted by the overruling of Roe v. Wade and other developments, Democrats do have a good chance of …

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IRA’s Impact

The new law is a Big Deal. Or more precisely, a REALLY Big Deal.

IRA, the Inflation Reduction Act, is clearly the biggest climate legislation ever passed in the United States.  The law will provide  $379 billion in subsidies to clean energy in the form of direct payments and tax credits. Subsidies aren’t the ideal way to cut emissions, because it’s impossible to target them to the precise behavioral …

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The Battle for the Senate: A Challenging Year for Democrats

Democrats may hold onto the Senate, but it’s going to be a tough fight.

We’re now four months out from election day. This is not looking like a good electoral cycle for the Democrats, given inflation, the continuing effects of COVID, the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, and other woes.    Democrats do have a fair chance of holding control of the Senate however, depending on how …

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Conservatives Who Support Climate Action

No, not here. The British Tories.

There is continuing conservative support for climate action. Not so much here, of course, but in the UK. The British government is firmly in the grip of the Conservative Party. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is no Donald Trump, but he does have at least a whiff of Trumpiness about him. Like the GOP, the Tories …

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Good News from “Down Under”

Australia’s election signals a welcome change in climate policy.

Australia has had a change of government. The Liberal Party — conservative  in everything but name — lost control of the federal government to Labor.   Australia was recently ranked last out of sixty countries in climate policy.The victorious Labor candidate told his supporters, “Together we can end the climate wars. Together we can take advantage of …

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The 2022 Elections and State Environmental Policies

Governors are pivotal players in state regulatory policies

The formal powers of state governors vary from state to state. Like Presidents, however, they have been busy the past few decades centralizing control of their bureaucracies. That makes them key players in the environment and energy domain.  This year, some key governors’ mansions are up for grabs. Here’s a summary of the current state …

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The Battle for the Senate

The 2022 elections will have repercussions in 2024 and beyond.

How much does control of the Senate matter for purposes of environmental law?  If Congress remains in Democratic hands, the Democrats can make another run at a reconciliation bill. Even if the House flips, control of the Senate still matters a lot, though the reasons are more complicated. The State of Play. Here’s where things …

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One Year and Counting

How does Biden’s first year compare with Trump’s? Biden has been much more effective.

If you compare Biden’s performance with his promised agenda, the first year has been disappointing. If instead you compare him with his predecessor, Biden has done more to achieve his environmental goals. The difference is that Trump was judged on the basis of his rhetoric, while Biden is judged based on his achievement. Four years …

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On the Frustrations of Climate Politics

It’s not just the shortcomings of Joe Manchin.  Climate legislation is an inherently tough political challenge.

Yesterday, Joe Manchin announced that he couldn’t support the Build Back Better reconciliation bill. Unless Biden can somehow coax him back to the negotiating table, that dooms what would have been a major breakthrough in climate policy.  Manchin bears responsibility for this deeply regrettable decision. But climate legislation is hard, even in more favorable political …

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Cornhuskers Go Green

Nebraska has become the first solid Red state to adopt climate targets

Last week, Nebraska became the first state under complete Republican control to adopt a 2050 goal of net-zero emissions from the grid. No Democratic presidential candidate has carried the state in almost fifty years (and the last previous time was before World War II). Republicans have controlled the state legislature and governor’s mansion since this …

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