Governors are pivotal players in state regulatory policies
The formal powers of state governors vary from state to state. Like Presidents, however, they have been busy the past few decades centralizing control of their bureaucracies. That makes them key players in the environment and energy domain. This year, some key governors’ mansions are up for grabs. Here’s a summary of the current state …CONTINUE READING
How does Biden’s first year compare with Trump’s? Biden has been much more effective.
If you compare Biden’s performance with his promised agenda, the first year has been disappointing. If instead you compare him with his predecessor, Biden has done more to achieve his environmental goals. The difference is that Trump was judged on the basis of his rhetoric, while Biden is judged based on his achievement. Four years …CONTINUE READING
After the dark days of the Trump Era, environmental policy had a very good year
The continuing pandemic sometimes makes it feel like time is frozen. But 2021 was a big year for environmental policy. Politics. The biggest news of 2021, for the environment as well as other reasons, was the replacement of Donald Trump by Joseph Biden. On the regulatory front, the change in White House control instantly stopped …CONTINUE READING
Nebraska has become the first solid Red state to adopt climate targets
Last week, Nebraska became the first state under complete Republican control to adopt a 2050 goal of net-zero emissions from the grid. No Democratic presidential candidate has carried the state in almost fifty years (and the last previous time was before World War II). Republicans have controlled the state legislature and governor’s mansion since this …CONTINUE READING
A major, bipartisan step forward in an unlikely state.
Last week, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an important piece of climate legislation. I wrote last month about major, bipartisan climate legislation in Illinois. Like the Illinois law, the North Carolina law enjoyed broad bipartisan support. The North Carolina legislature is under firm Republican. Nevertheless, the bill passed the state senate by a 42 …CONTINUE READING
Illinois passes pathbreaking energy law.
Last week, Illinois’s governor signed into law a major piece of climate legislation. The law deserves more attention than it has received. Sadly, however, Illinois seems to be something of a neglected stepchild in the media. That’s a pity, because there are some important lessons in Illinois’s experience, both for the Midwest and the country …CONTINUE READING
The bill gives the Feds broad authority to authorize transmission projects.
We will need a much more robust transmission in coming years. Sources of renewable energy, such as Iowa wind farms, are often located far from the urban centers that need the power. Transmission also helps to deal with weather issues that may impact renewables: even if it’s too cloudy for solar in one state, the …CONTINUE READING
New climate legislation sets a high bar for other states.
On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a package of four clean energy bills. These bills move Oregon to the forefront of climate action. These laws ban new fossil fuel plants and set aggressive targets for the state’s two major utilities, requiring emission cuts of 80% by 2030, 90% by 2035 and 100% by 2040. …CONTINUE READING
There’s a simple reason why it’s so hard to take bold climate actions nationally.
Gallup has studied environmental attitudes in America for several decades. Their historical compilation is very revealing about our present political situation. It sheds light on why it’s been so hard to develop momentum for real change at the national level, and also about why there’s so much more of a push for change within the …CONTINUE READING
Guest Contributor Jetta Cook: Greater Than the Sum: Sub-national Renewable Energy Policy during the Trump Administration
Even Red-States Supported and Increased Renewable Energy during the Trump Administration
Below the federal level, it’s difficult to discern the impact that the Trump Administration had on energy policy. To take a closer look, I conducted a fifty-state survey to discern how state, local, and public utility actions affecting energy policy came together as a whole over the past four years. Across the nation, I found, …CONTINUE READING