Politics

Renewable Energy in the Carolinas

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 …

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The CRA is Back in Play

What you need to know about the Congressional Review Act and Trump’s regulatory legacy

This post is co-authored by Beth Kent and Cara Horowitz Last week’s Georgia Senate victories have given Democrats (bare) control of the Senate—and, with it, the potential to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to erase some of the Trump Administration’s regulatory rollbacks. Here are four key things to know about this unique legislative oversight …

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Trump’s Pro-Environmental Acts — A VERY Short List

Despite its general hatred of environmental protection, the Trump Administration did manage a few positive steps.

This being the last day of Trump’s presidency, it’s appropriate to look back on his environmental record.  Basically, Trump was to environmental  law as General Sherman was to Georgia.  In the time between his “American carnage” Inaugural Address to his unleashing of carnage on Capitol Hill, he and his minions devoted themselves to environmental destruction. …

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The Georgia Elections, the Republican Schism, and the Environment

The prospects for a green stimulus bill have improved

Although the word is overused, last week really did see a seismic shift in the political world. Actually, there were two earthquakes — the victories of Democrats Warnock and Ossoff in Georgia, and the violent invasion of the U.S. capitol incited by Trump.  While the significance of these events is much broader, their relevance to …

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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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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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Climate Action on the West Coast

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 …

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Bringing Back Earmarks to Save the Climate

Climate action will require overcoming the US democracy deficit.

The U.S. has a democracy deficit.  Winning national majorities isn’t enough to get majorities in Congress. This creates headwinds against climate action.  In the short-run at least, legislative earmarks might be one way to overcome the problem. The House is already planning to bring back earmarks, but the the heart of the problem is the …

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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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Battle for the Senate: 2022 Preview

We’ve just been through one big election.  But it’s only 2 years till the next one.

We’re only two years away from the next Senate elections. Granted, we’re not completely done with the 2020 Senate elections given the Georgia runoffs.   But just 24 months from now, control of the Senate will again be at stake.  On average, the President’s party loses two Senate seats in the off-year elections.  That’s not a …

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