Federal Climate Policy

Hillary Clinton, Climate Change, and the ‘Sliding Doors’ of History

Here’s what could have happened instead of Trump’s crusade against climate action, if Clinton had squeaked out a victory in 2016.

If Hillary Clinton had won, we would be much further along today in the battle to cut carbon emissions and control climate change. Instead, Trump was a climate disaster. The bottom line: Elections do matter. Not just for politicians but for all of us.

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Hypothetically Speaking: What if Trump Had Won in 2020?

In terms of climate policy, the short answer is “nearly total destruction.”

Trump’s end point from his first term — zeroing out federal climate action — would have been his starting point after reelection.  The next steps would have been an effort to end state-level and private climate action, and a massive increase in oil & gas production and use.

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Can the IRA Trump-Proof Itself?

Building A Political Firewall Against IRA Repeal

Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, is squarely in Donald Trump’s sights.  There is certainly a risk that a GOP sweep in November would result in repeal, as I’ve written before.  Yet there are increasing signs that the IRA has created a powerful political constituency deep in Republican domains.  This will make repealing …

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Why a Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush — Especially When the Issue is Climate Change

Climate action is too urgent to insist on waiting for perfect solutions

It’s an ancient dispute: Should we compromise on half-measures, or hold out until we can get something a lot better?  Idealists argue for holding out. Pragmatist argue that half a loaf is better than none. Rather than rehearse familiar arguments, I want to focus specifically on climate change.  In my view, holding out for ideal …

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Trump’s War on Environmental Protection: A Chronology

Yes, there were over 100 environmental rollbacks. Here are the biggest.

From when he took office to the day he left, Trump lead a steady drumbeat of environmental rollback after environmental rollback. His goals: eliminate limits on pollution from fossil fuels and end protection of public lands.

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Here’s the Most Important Climate Bill of 2024

The Farm Bill proposal being pushed by House Republicans cuts climate programs and boosts factory farms. Congress should listen to the hundreds of chefs who are calling for climate fixes.

Normally, you don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen. It spoils the broth, as the saying goes. But when it comes to debating, amending, and rewriting the U.S. Farm Bill, lawmakers in Congress need all the help they can get. Congress should listen to the hundreds of chefs and food industry pros who are …

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Important Progress Toward a Climate-Ready Grid

New transmission is crucial. This is how FERC is starting to address the problem.

We urgently need more transmission to accommodate renewable energy, increased energy demand, and grid resilience to climate disasters. Yet the transmission approval process has been badly broken, often favoring small projects that plump up utility profits but do little to address longterm or regional transmission needs. Last week, the government took steps to improve permitting …

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Ninth Circuit Short-Circuits Juliana v. U.S. Climate Change Lawsuit

Iconic Children Plaintiffs Lack Legal Standing to Pursue Case, Court of Appeals Rules

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an order that likely ends one of the most closely-watched climate change lawsuits in recent American legal history: Juliana v. United States. The background of this litigation–which was filed in federal district court in Oregon in 2015–has been analyzed at length in …

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30 Major Climate Initiatives Under Biden

By any measure, it has been an eventful four years for climate policy, with billions in spending and many major regulations finalized. Here’s a timeline of the Top 30 actions.

In his four years in office, Donald Trump rolled back essentially every existing federal policy to limit climate change. The picture under the Biden Administration has been a dramatic reversal, enacting lots of environmental protections and starting to spend tens of billions of dollars. By one count, Biden has overturned more than two dozen of …

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Pouring Gas on a Five Alarm Fire

That’s Trump’s climate policy in a nutshell. His campaign slogan should be, “Burn, Baby, Burn.”

At a dinner for oil industry CEOs last week, Trump promised to fulfill the industry’s every dream in return for a billion dollars in donations.  We urgently need now is more federal climate action, not less. Yet the reelection of Donald Trump would wipe out years of federal climate action.  It’s important to understand fully …

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