Joel Stronberg Blogs

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Joel Stronberg Blogs

JOEL STRONBERG

MEMBER OF THE BOARD

Joel Stronberg, MA, JD, is a senior executive and attorney with over 35 years of experience in federal and state energy, environmental and sustainability issues. He is the founder and principal of The JBS Group a Washington, DC consulting firm advising and representing public and private sectors clients since 1981. Services provided by the Group include policy analysis and advocacy, strategic planning, draft legislation, written and oral communications, and management and business services to small trade and non-profit organizations in the clean energy and climate fields.

Stronberg is recognized as a thought leader in the fields of climate and clean energy. He has served as a Special Counsel at the US Department of Energy at the Under and Assistant Secretarial levels. Stronberg has lived in Nicaragua and Costa Rica working with business and educational organizations on sustainable agricultural practices, the use of on-site renewable energy sources, e.g., digesters, and policy development.

Stronberg is a featured voice on Resilience.org; a Top Climate Change Writer on Medium.com, and, a highlighted contributor on Energy Central. His writings are linked to Stanford University’s Millennial Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB) project.

Joel is also a regular contributor to other energy and environment publications like the Environmental Law Institute’s journal The Environmental Forum. His book, Earth v. Trump: A Failure to Protect, was released in November 2017. The second edition of the work is due to be released later in 2019.

Stronberg is currently working with clients in the development and implementation of strategic advocacy, and communications strategies focused on federal appropriations and proposed regulatory actions by the USEPA, e.g., rolling back Obama era climate-related regulations. He regularly reports and analyzes climate-related lawsuits for clients.

JOEL STRONBERG BLOGS

Climate Politics: The View from Washington (11th Feb.)

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   02/11/24
Legislation is not enacted in a vacuum. Successful advocacy strategies begin with understanding the political context in which proposed climate-related policies are to be debated and acted upon. There’s a sign on the door of the Capitol that says Congress Doesn’t Work Here Anymore. I think that’s a bit harsh.…

Climate Politics: The View from Washington (9th Jan.)

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   01/09/24
Legislation is not enacted in a vacuum. Successful advocacy strategies begin with understanding the political context in which proposed climate-related policies are to be debated and acted upon. Congress is back from its holiday recess. Although it’s a new year, Capitol Hill politicians are facing many of the same old…

Climate Politics: The View from Washington (11th Dec.)

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   12/12/23
Legislation is not enacted in a vacuum. Successful advocacy strategies begin with understanding the political context in which proposed climate-related policies are to be debated and acted upon. It’s the last week Congress will meet before heading home for the holidays. Much like the weeks since the beginning of the…

Climate Politics: The View from Washington (3rd Dec.)

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   12/03/23
The past week in Washington saw the expulsion of a member of the House—George Santos—for only the sixth time in U.S. history. The expulsion vote followed on the heels of the House Ethics Committee report accusing Santos of “defrauding donors and enriching himself with his campaign.” The fallen representative is…

Climate Politics: The View from Washington (27th Nov.)

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   11/27/23
A note to readers: Legislation is not enacted in a vacuum. Successful advocacy strategies begin with understanding the political context in which proposed climate-related policies are to be debated and acted upon. With this in mind, “Climate Politics: The View from Washington” will become a regular feature on the Civil…

Climate Politics: The View from Washington (8th Nov.)

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   11/08/23
A note to readers: Legislation is not enacted in a vacuum. Successful advocacy strategies begin with understanding the political context in which proposed climate-related policies are to be debated and acted upon. With this in mind, “Climate Politics: The View from Washington” will become a regular feature on the Civil…

Climate Politics: The View from Washington (27th Oct.)

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   10/27/23
Well, Republicans in the US House of Representatives finally did it. They elected Mike Johnson (R-LA) to succeed Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker of the lower chamber. It took them just over three weeks to do the deed—during which time the work of Congress came to a virtual standstill. Johnson…

The New Face of Climate Protest: Can You Hear Them Now?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   10/25/23
It’s no secret that the global transition to low-carbon economies is behind what scientists say is the pace needed to avoid the worst consequences of Earth’s warming. As ice sheets in Greenland, glaciers in Switzerland, and the ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctic are melting more rapidly than first thought, scientists are likely underestimating what’s…

Climate Politics: The View from Washington (19th Oct.)

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   10/19/23
It’s been weeks now and 221 Republicans can’t seem to get their House in order. It seems that the gang of eight that removed Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the speaker’s chair didn’t have a Plan B. The U.S. House of Representatives remains out of order without an elected successor to…

What Choice Do We Have in 2024 If We’re to Save the Planet?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   10/18/23
It should be clear to everyone in the climate activist community that if the ex-president becomes the next president, it will knock U.S. climate policy back decades—yes, decades! The only thing worse would be his having a Republican Congress to help him do it. Given that the Party of Lincoln…

Climate Politics: View from Washington

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   10/14/23
Dominating politics this week is the war in the Middle East between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas, in which thousands have died and many more have been wounded. Israel's far-right Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised a scorched earth retaliation against Hamas and other terrorist groups like the Palestinian Islamic…

Climate Politics: The View from Washington

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   10/10/23
Dominating politics this week is the war in the Middle East between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas, in which thousands have died and many more have been wounded. Israel's far-right Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised a scorched earth retaliation against Hamas and other terrorist groups like the Palestinian Islamic…

Climate Politics Today: The View from Washington

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   10/05/23
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made history the other day. He was the first sitting Speaker of the House to be fired. Talk about being hoisted on your own petard. One congressman was heard to say after the vote that the former speaker's "chickens finally came back to roost." More on that…

Capitol Light/Climate Politics (Today’s ten)

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   09/19/23
The drama in Washington is all about the looming end of the federal fiscal year. All eyes are focused on House Speaker McCarthy and whether he can deliver enough votes to keep the government open come October 1st. The short-term target of Congress and the White House is the passage…

Sustainability: It’s About More Than Climate Change

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   09/06/23
Today in Texas, history was being made with the beginning of the impeachment trial of the Lone Star State’s Republican Attorney General, Ken Paxton. Paxton should be familiar to almost every climate activist for his challenges to the climate and clean energy policies and programs of both the Obama and…

The Inflation Reduction Act: Standing at a Double-cross Roads

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   08/17/23
It’s time to wish the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) a happy birthday. A year ago, President Biden signed the oddly named act into law—a name that even Biden has trouble relating to what the law is accomplishing. As described by the president at a recent fundraiser in New Mexico...

Insuring Our Children’s Future in the Age of Climate Change

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   07/28/23
As if we needed more reminders of the impacts of Earth’s warming, it’s being reported: “that climate change is destabilizing the insurance industry, driving up prices and pushing insurers out of high-risk markets.” State Farm, the largest homeowner insurance company in California, announced it would stop “accepting new applications including all business and…

Climate Change: A Whale of a Tale

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   07/19/23
Call me Ishmael, for I’m about to tell a tale of p*ssed-off animals and the lesson we humans should take away—or at least consider—from events I’m about to describe. It begins with the story of White Gladis,an Orca whale who appears to have a bone to pick with sailing ships. I doubt…

Capitol Light/Climate Politics

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   06/14/23
House Republicans are plowing forward with plans to mark up their funding bills at lower levels than the limits agreed upon with Democrats just weeks ago, teeing up what could be a nasty spending battle — and a potential government shutdown — later this year.(The Hill) Democrats are fuming after…

Your Legal Right to a Healthy Environment: Juliana Redux

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   06/13/23
In 2015 21 youths between the ages of eight and 17 asked a federal court to find that they have a constitutionally protected right to a healthy and sustainable environment. In the interim, more than a few of the 21 youths are now 20-somethings. They’ve yet to have their day in…

The Two Joes and What They Mean for US Climate Policy

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   05/18/23
At least one-half of last year’s Washington power couple — Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) — has taken to holding hostage the other Joe’s climate plans and promises. Manchin has vowed to stonewall President Biden’s nominees for executive positions at the Environmental Protection Agency as well as…

Red States and the Inflation Reduction Act: Environmental Hypocrisy or Just Good Politics?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   05/04/23
The budget battle brewing in Congress could see the US become a dead-beat debtor if the warring factions can’t come to some arrangement on raising the nation’s debt ceiling. In a proposed tit-for-tat deal, House Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) and members of the Freedom Caucus are looking to claw back the…

Turning a Pain in the [Coal] Ash into an Asset (2)

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   05/01/23
For economic and environmental reasons, the reign of Old King Coal is coming to an end. The royal’s reign has crossed centuries. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), coal was first used to generate elec-tricity for homes and factories in the 1880s. By 1961, coal had become the major…

Turning a Pain in the [Coal] Ash into an Asset

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   04/21/23
It appears that the reign of Old King Coal is finally ending because of its impact on the environment and its inability to compete economically with cleaner energy sources, including natural gas and renewables like solar and wind. Coal has powered industries for centuries. Without it, the industrial age was…

I, ChatGPT: The Case for Climate Action?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   04/04/23
Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic. You just woke up and realized the nation is running late in putting needed climate protections in place. Discuss. You’d have to have been hiding in a cave over the last 12 months not to have heard about the rapid rise of artificial…

The Inflation Reduction Act is a New Lease on U.S. Climate Policy: Let’s Not Screw It Up

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   09/12/22
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA or Act) is the most comprehensive climate-related legislation in U.S. history. The Act invests $369 billion dollars for climate and clean energy measures. It also provides billions of dollars to expand low-income health care subsidies and limits drug costs for seniors. The bill rises to…

West Virginia v. EPA: It’s Dé·jà Vu All Over Again

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   08/08/22
The decision in West Virginia v. EPA is as important for what it doesn’t say as for what it does. Although the Supreme Court left in tack many of EPA’s regulatory powers, it limited its regulatory reach on existing stationary sources of greenhouse gases. Without the need to win over “swing” justices,…

The Greatest Crisis Facing the Nation May Not Be Climate Change

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   07/08/22
American democracy is broken. What good are answers if the system can’t implement them? Senate Minority Leader McConnell and Chief Justice Roberts are telling us something We the People need to consider as we vote in 2022 and 2024 Before climate change or any other issue of the day is adequately dealt…

Ten Little Euphemisms: What Do They Portend for Climate Policy?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   06/22/22
It should come as no surprise that the oil and gas industry is attempting to use the current crises of energy security and inflationary prices to its advantage. To that end, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has released a ten-point plan they deem is responsive to these current events. The…

Climate Policy in a Republican World

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   06/16/22
In recent days Republicans in the US House of Representatives released the first of what will be a six-part policy platform on energy, climate, and conservation. The strategy was the work of the Energy, Climate, and Conservation Task Force (ECC). The Task Force was established by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy…

Climate Policy – It’s Not About the Science

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   05/18/22
This is the third in a casual series of discussions on today’s politics and what it means for US climate policy. The new series flows from a conversation I had with a colleague in preparation for a podcast in which she would be interviewing me. Politicians have politicised the science…

Will Putin’s War Be the Last Fought Over Fossil Fuels or Just the Next In Line?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   04/19/22
Could you ever imagine the allied nations buying wheat, fertilizer, or fuel oil from Nazi Germany once battle lines had been crossed?  I couldn’t either. So let me ask you this. What’s the difference between purchasing some critical resource from Nazi Germany and the buying of Russian oil and gas…

Climate Policy in the Biden Era: Georgia on My Mind

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   01/25/22
Hoagy Carmichael / Stuart Gorell We, the people, fired the nation’s chief executive long about a month ago. The order is scheduled to be confirmed by a vote of the Electoral College on December 14, 2020. It will then come due on January 20, 2021, when Joe Biden is sworn…

Has Build Back Better Become Build Back Never? What Does It Mean for US Climate Policy?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   01/11/22
Joe Manchin is a lying liar who lies.- Jennifer Taub, law professor and author of “Big Dirty Money.” I dislike making predictions in January about what to expect in October.  Although I have my suspicions about what’s lurking out there and getting ready to pounce, the value of year-ahead prognostication…

Is President Biden’s Climate Agenda Toast? Say It Isn’t So, Joe

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   12/22/21
There’s a jolly old soul in West Virginia who’s laughing his a** off today. Who is this laugh-master? Why it’s Old King Coal, of course; and, he just got off the phone with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). On the call, West Virginia’s senior Senator told the old man he would…

Blah, Blah, Blah, the Climate Blame Game

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   11/13/21
Cassius For the first Earth Day in 1970, the famed illustrator Walt Kelly paraphrased Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry when his Pogo character looked across a field of debris and uttered the now iconic phrase. We have met the enemy, and he is us. Pogo’s words ring as true today as they did…

Negotiating Climate Policy: My “Eureka” Moment

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   11/08/21
Don’t you just love it when the solution to a problem hits you—suddenly the fog lifts, the trumpets blare, you’re bathed in uplifting light, and your inner voices yell in unison—well, duh? I had just such a moment the other morning when through sleep encrusted eyes, it came clear to…

Joe Manchin’s “Strategic” Paws: Will They Choke Biden’s Climate Plans?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   09/22/21
Franklin Roosevelt is remembered for the New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson the Great Society. What will Joe Biden be remembered for? It likely depends on the fate of two pieces of legislation that encompass nearly the entirety of his once-in-a-generation agenda, including infrastructure, climate, voter rights, higher taxes for the wealthy,…

Juliana v. the US, the Climate Case of the Century: When Reality Bites

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   07/28/21
The 21 young plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States will mark their six-year anniversary just days from now. They first petitioned the federal District Court for the District of Oregon on August 12, 2015. Over the past six years, the Juliana plaintiffs have grown in age, understanding, and stature. The lead plaintiff,…

No Climate, No Deal: Biden Needs to Sing the Blu’s

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   06/28/21
Saturday saw both President Biden and former-President Trump making news lines. The day foreshadowed the slide into the 2022 midterm congressional elections and possibly the 2024 presidential. It’s a present that bodes badly for the president’s climate and society agendas and a future I had hoped would remain in the…

The Truth Be Damned and What It Means for the Future of US Climate Policy

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   06/02/21
On their way out of town for the Memorial Day recess Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and all but six Republican senators killed legislation[i] that would have established an independent investigative commission on the January 6th insurrection. The attack on Congress was intended to stop the Senate from certifying Biden’s 2020 election…

Climate Policy in a Binary World: Uttering and Other High Crimes and Misdemeanors

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   05/12/21
The new Republican line in Congress is they accept climate change as real and are on board with efforts to curb harmful emissions and combat Earth’s warming. I don’t mean to be rude, but it’s a lie. I take no pleasure in saying congressional Republicans–for the most part—are guilty of utter-ing untruths.…

A Very Uncivil Notion: Climate Activism and the Party of Trump

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   05/04/21
It may sound strange to suggest the fate of President Biden’s climate agenda will parallel that of Liz Cheney, Wyoming’s at-large Republican congressional representative, but hear me out. Cheney was first elected in 2017 and is currently the House Republican Conference Chair. The Chair is considered the Number 3 position…

The Affairs of States: In the Greening of America (Part 2)

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   04/21/21
In a more perfect union, the federal government would be a better partner with state and local governments in the effort to slow, forestall, and adapt to Earth’s changing climate. As it has for most of the 21st century, the burden of response to the climate crisis rests heavily on…

The Affairs of States: In the Greening of America

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   04/13/21
Hyper-partisanship is not just Washington’s affliction. We remain a nation of red states and blue states. President Biden has put forward an aggressive plan with which to combat Earth’s warm-ing. If the immediate past is prologue, there will be little permanence to anything his administration manages to accomplish absent Congressional…

Climate Policy in the Biden Era: A House Divided

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   12/16/20
After an election in which the country opted for a reset, not a revolution, moderate Democrats hold the power in the party. Sullivan and Bade The momentum of the 2018 Congressional midterm elections in which the Democrats gained 42 seats and regained their majority status in the House of Representatives…

Climate Policy in the End Days of the Trump Administration

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   10/27/20
Do not go gentle into that good night, … burn and rage at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas Anyone who thinks the climate community will not have Donald J. Trump to kick around anymore after the votes are tallied in November is…

Lawyers Wanted to Help Decarbonize the US Economy

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   08/26/20
Seventy days from now, the likely future of US climate policy for at least the next decade will be determined. Moreover, what happens in the US won’t stay in the US. Should Trump retain the presidency and the Republicans their Senate majority a rollback of US environmental protections to a…

I Pledge…with Environmental and Climate Justice for All?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   08/16/20
Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America. — Congressman John Lewis The crises of 2020—the COVID-19 contagion, systemic racism, and a depressive economic downturn—are testing the mettle of American society. Curiously, they are also expediting efforts to address racial injustice and economic, energy, and…

The Trump-ettes Have Blown: What It Means for President Biden’s Climate Strategy

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   07/14/20
Should Joe Biden win in November, he will be returning to reign over a federal government he may not recognize. A government that could be hard-pressed to put his climate policies and programs into operation. For that–he’ll have Donald Trump to thank. Trump has never hidden his disdain for the…

Courting Solutions to the Climate Crisis — In All the Wrong Places?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   01/29/20
The problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case[i]. If ever there was a case that called out for judicial intervention and a court to answer the call, it is Juliana v. US and the Ninth Circuit Court of…

Climate Politics/Capitol Light

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   09/09/19
Climate, Politics/Capitol Light©, is a service of The JBS Group and Civil Notion Volume 1    |    September 9, 2019    |    Issue 26 The month ahead: Congress is back from its August recess. It appears the break did nothing to cool tensions—either between Congressional Republicans and Democrats or…

911, What’s Your Climate Emergency?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   08/26/19
Our next President should declare a national emergency on day 1 to address the existential threat to all life on the planet posed by Climate Change. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) By declaring a national emergency concerning the southern border of the US, Trump may have unwittingly given the next Democratic president an additional weapon with which…

One Word—Plastics: Why the World Will be Slow to Abandon Natural Gas

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   08/21/19
Petrochemicals are the 800-pound gorilla that many fail to account for in their climate defense plans. Termed a blind spot of the global energy system by the International Energy Agency (IEA) petrochemicals are a driving force behind the increasing demand for fossil fuels. Petrochemicals also appear to be one of the driving…

“V” Is for Vitriol Towards Climate Deniers, Can It Lead to Victory?

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   08/12/19
Dan Levitan argues in the New Republic that Republican deniers of climate change, who are now on the side of the “angels,” don’t deserve redemption by Democrats unless they own-up to the harms they’ve caused by their earlier denials. Prompting Levitan to write his article was the testimony of Republican pollster Frank Luntz before…

Trump’s Environmental Legacy Will Take Time to Erase

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   08/08/19
 I have an Article 2 where I have the right to do whatever I want as president                                                                                                                                    — Donald Trump Time is the dearest resource we have in the fight to combat Earth’s warming. Whether there is time enough to avoid the harsh economic and environmental consequences waiting beyond…

There Auto Be a Law– California and Automakers Agree to Limit Emissions

By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and   07/26/19
Major automakers and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) have reached an agreement to increase fleet fuel efficiencies to nearly 50 miles per gallon on average by 2026. The companies–Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW of North America—along with California regulators took matters into their own hands, after the Trump administration…