While we were focusing on DC, there has been a lot of action at the state level.
Trump has dominated the national conversation for the past four years. While our eyes were on his efforts to rollback climate action, a lot has been happening at the state level. This post is the one of an episodic series of posts on state renewable energy policy. Today, the focus will be on North and …CONTINUE READING
How do we sell climate policies to huge swathes of Trump country?
The 2020 elections revealed America as bitterly divided as ever. The split between rural and urban voters is intensifying, with rural voters delivering massive support to Trump and down ticket Republicans. Success in decarbonizing the economy will ultimately require the support of those voters. Short of a miraculous turnaround in attitudes about climate change, how …CONTINUE READING
Nine key developments to watch for on the environmental front.
2020 was a tumultuous year. Hopefully, 2021 will be balmier. Widespread use of vaccines will hopefully tame the COVID-19 pandemic, and maybe the political world will settle down a bit too. Here are nine key things to watch for in terms of environmental policy. The Georgia runoff elections. Currently, the Republicans look likely to control …CONTINUE READING
Trump’s deregulatory reign of terror continued, but there were still some bright spots.
In terms of the environment, the big news was the election. Biden swept the popular vote and won a solid victor in the Electoral College. At this point, the Republicans have retained control of the Senate, though runoff elections in Georgia could change that. On another front, US carbon emissions were down for the year, …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
Biden can use these three strategies to make major progress on climate issues.
With the next president of the United States finally decided, we can now begin moving on to the work at hand. Joe Biden’s election creates an exciting opportunity for climate action. But there’s one clear hurdle: Unless the January runoff elections in Georgia for two Senate seats deliver surprising success to the Democrats, President-elect Biden …CONTINUE READING
A 6-3 conservative court is bad news for climate action. Here’s a threat assessment.
With Romney’s announcement this morning that he would support consideration of a nominee before the election, it now seems virtually certain that Trump will be able to appoint a sixth conservative Justice. How will that affect future climate policy? Here is a preliminary threat assessment. The answer varies, depending on what policies we’re talking about. …CONTINUE READING
Don’t let the opportunity for a green stimulus go to waste.
The economy crashed during the lockdown. Although a recovery has begun, government action will probably be needed to sustain it. We should seize this opportunity to make progress on sustainability. It’s hard to know the long-term economic impact of the pandemic. As Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Schiller has said, “Big events like a pandemic have …CONTINUE READING
Geothermal power could play an important role in decarbonization.
There’s been a lot of recent interest in geothermal energy. It can complement other renewables as they become a bigger part of the power mix. A recent study by DOE suggests that geothermal capacity could reach 60 Gigawatts by 2050. The basic technology is pretty simple: drill down into a reservoir of super-hot water (up …CONTINUE READING