Biden Administration

The Year Ahead

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 …

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Passing Green Laws in a Polarized Senate

New legislation will require threading a needle in the Senate.

How polarized is the Senate?  A lot.  Consider their voting records: Every Republican except one has an environmental voting score below 25%.  Every Democrat but one has a score above 75%.  That’s a walloping fifty point gap. Given this polarization, getting energy or environmental legislation through Congress will require tremendous finesse.  That’s without even considering …

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Biden’s Green Team

Here are the six who will lead the way on environment and energy issues.

Biden’s choices to head particular agencies have trickled out over the past few weeks.  It’s only when you put them together that you get a sense of the overall time.  It’s a very diverse group, all of whom seem to have strong environmental commitments. Pete Buttigieg, Department of Transportation.  Buttigieg is a well-known figure from …

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Environmental Justice and Climate Action

Are the two in conflict? What should we make of the attacks on Mary Nichols?

Mary Nichols, the frontrunner to head EPA, was knocked out of contention earlier this week.  She would have been a formidable choice to implement Biden’s climate policies.  For that reason, it wasn’t clear whether she would have the votes to get through the narrowly divided Senate. But she was ultimately taken down by the fierce …

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California’s Environmental Justice Policies Should Serve as A Model for the Biden-Harris Administration

AB 617’s Program to Reduce Hot Spot Pollution, Port Programs, Zero Emission Trucks Could Go National

No Presidential ticket has come into office more committed to environmental issues than President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.  Appropriately, climate change is at the top of their agenda.  They are also committed to advancing environmental justice by addressing the disproportionate environmental harms many low income communities of color face. California is often …

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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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Biden Can Leverage Larger Trends to Make Climate Progress

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 …

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Trump’s Biggest Anti-Environmental Fail

He did his best to destroy EPA completely. But his devastating budget proposals got nowhere.

Trump was awful for the environment. But he wanted to be even worse. If Trump had had his way, only shreds of key environmental agencies would now be left. Although Trump has certainly succeeded in weakening them, the cores of the agencies remain intact.  Without them, Biden’s task would be much harder. Trump’s budgets unvaryingly …

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Three key environmental priorities for the Biden administration

Spoiler alert: the most important first steps are not directly environmental

Like many others, I breathed an enormous sigh of relief when the presidential race was called for Joe Biden. Like many others, I will not entirely relax until Biden is actually sworn in. The failure of our current norm-breaking President (and his enablers) to accept the election results is both frustrating and frightening. It also …

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President Biden & Climate Change: What’s Achievable?

Divided federal government might still allow possibility for meaningful action

With a victory in the presidential election, Joe Biden now faces a U.S. Senate that still hangs in the balance. But even with a Democratic runoff sweep in Georgia next month, it will be very divided. So what will be possible for a President Biden and his administration to achieve on climate change? Agency action, …

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