Green New Deal
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 …CONTINUE READING
Texas has the most wind power in the country and is rapidly building solar. How did that happen?
People are often surprised to learn that Texas is the national leader in wind power, with the twice the generating capacity of any other state. On one notable night in December of 2015, the state got 45% of its power from wind, though the year-round average was only about 10%. In July of this year, the …CONTINUE READING
The candidates are united on some issues, but divided or equivocal on others.
Yesterday, the Washington Post published a survey of the Democratic candidates’ positions on climate change. The differences between candidates probably don’t have a lot of immediate policy relevance, given the political and legal constraints on what a new president could accomplish. But they are very revealing about the direction of the Democratic Party today. The …CONTINUE READING
The candidates are all in favor of climate action but there are significant variations in their stances.
It’s hard to keep track of the twenty or so Democrats who are in the running for the 2020 presidential nomination. The differences between them on climate policy are minor compared with the gulf between them and President Trump. All of them support the Paris Agreement, unlike Trump. And all of them vow to restore …CONTINUE READING
Maybe What We Need is a Green Great Society
Talk about a Green New Deal is rife these days, but perhaps what we should be talking about instead is a Green Great Society. Actually, Lyndon Johnson’s vision of the great society was green from the get-go, so maybe we could just call for a renewed Great Society. What the Great Society is known for …CONTINUE READING
Why Has Labor Attacked The Green New Deal?
One more entry in the “Not Helpful” Department: The AFL-CIO, the national arm for U.S. labor unions, offered a critical assessment of the Green New Deal, warning that the ambitious plan to combat climate change could adversely affect U.S. workers. In a letter last week to Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria …CONTINUE READING
A: Maybe, but only in a roundabout way. (And at a cost.)
Just about nobody who’s knowledgeable in the field thinks the U.S. electric grid can be made carbon free in ten years. Having spent the past two years lambasting the Trump Administration for ignoring the experts, I’m loathe to disagree with the expert opinion on this one. But even if the ten-year deadline set by supporters …CONTINUE READING
How would we go about decarbonizing the most needy U.S. states?
Progressives are calling for a Green New Deal. The details are still very fuzzy, despite the House resolution introduced by Markey and Ocasio-Cortez. That proposal as a ten-year timetable to eliminate carbon, which is highly unrealistic. Nevertheless, it’s worth thinking about what an all-out effort to decarbonizing the economy would look like. The Green New …CONTINUE READING
Emergency Powers Can Be Very….Flexible
Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor today that Donald Trump will sign the new border compromise, then declare a National Emergency at the border, and use Presidential powers under the Emergency declaration to fund at least part of his border wall. Demonstrating his central philosophical principle — party over country — McConnell announced his …CONTINUE READING
Some Lessons from Environmental History
At the the heart of the Green New Deal — which demands slashing U.S. carbon emissions by 2030 by shifting to 100 percent clean energy — is a major conundrum. Even the most enthusiastic proponents of ambitious climate policy don’t believe the goals are achievable, technologically let alone politically. Stanford Professor Marc Z. Jacobsen, for …CONTINUE READING