POLITICS

POLITICS

On November 4, 2020, the United States formally left the Paris Agreement. Originally adopted in 2015, and aimed at limiting the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, President Joe Biden, on his first day in office, rejoined the Paris Agreement (which took effect on February 19, 2021) and appointed John Kerry as his energy czar. As Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry will play perhaps the most critical role internationally in managing a planetary crisis. To succeed, he’ll need to repair the diplomatic damage done by former President Donald Trump while steering through clashing interests at home: a defiant private sector on the one hand, and strident climate activists on the other.

There are now 24 states, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, taking part in the U.S. Climate Alliance, committing them to taking real, on the ground action that urgently addresses the climate challenge. In becoming an Alliance member, states commit to:

•Implementing policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025;

•Tracking and reporting progress to the global community in appropriate settings, including when the world convenes to take stock of the Paris Agreement.

• Accelerating new and existing policies to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy deployment at the state and federal level.

More political information is explored on pages within these sections: LOCAL POLITICSNATIONAL POLITICSINTERNATIONAL, as well as in LAWS AND LITIGATION. There is in depth information, state by state, in STATES (under the LEARN MORE dropdown menu), including individual state plans to accelerate renewables, key resources, and news.

A stunning timeline, following our nation’s extraordinary lack of progress since 1988, was written by Paul Bledsoe and published in the New York Times on December 29, 2018. This has, unfortunately, not been updated.

Please see the Biden’s Climate Plan page which details the extraordinary commitment his administration is making to climate change.

CURRENT NEWS

MORE NEWS

A New, Massive Plastics Plant in Southwest Pennsylvania Barely Registers Among Voters

By Emma Ricketts  Photo: Emma Ricketts   11/05/22  
Environmentalists in Beaver County alarmed by harmful emissions from the plant once it opens say they are discouraged by most voters’ inattention, but not deterred.

Midterm Candidates Ignore Climate Change At Their Own Risk

By Justin Worland  Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images   11/04/22  
If you watch a political campaign ad, listen to television pundits, or look at newspaper headlines, it’s clear that climate change has once again fallen off the political radar heading into this November’s midterm elections.…

Three governor’s races that really matter for climate policy

By Maxine Joselow and Others  Photo: Steven Senne, AP   11/03/22  
Good morning and welcome to The Climate 202! There are three days until the start of the COP27 climate talks and five days until the midterm elections. 📆 But first:

A Republican congress Is coming for Biden’s climate wins

By Robinson Meyer  Photo: Patrick Pleul/DPA   11/02/22  
Let’s get right to it: Come January, Republicans are likely to control both houses of Congress. The signs are lining up. After a summer when Democrats saw glimmers of hope—and when they seemed likely to…

One Candidate for Wisconsin’s Senate Race Wants to Put the State ‘In the Driver’s Seat’ of the Clean Energy Economy. The Other Calls Climate Science ‘Lunacy’

By Aydali Campa  Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images   11/02/22  
Democratic candidate Mandela Barnes was the chair of the state’s first task force on climate change. His competitor, Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, suggested that human-caused climate change was “BS.” Johnson leads in the polls.

GOP to probe ‘cancer’ of climate-friendly investing after midterms

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Tom Brenner, The Washington Post   11/02/22  
Less than a week before the midterm elections, Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill are already gearing up to investigate what they see as “woke capitalism,” a reference to Wall Street firms that treat climate change…

In Nevada’s Senate Race, Energy Policy Is a Stark Divide Between Cortez Masto and Laxalt

By Delaney Dryfoos  Photo: Trevor Bexon and Others, Getty Images   11/01/22  
The incumbent Democrat champions renewable energy while her GOP challenger favors the “energy independence” he sees coming from oil and gas.

Major green group on track to spend record $100M in midterms

By Maxine Joselow and Others  Photo: Cheney Orr, Bloomberg News   10/27/22  
Good morning and welcome to The Climate 202! Today we’re reading this wild story about a woman getting swallowed whole by a 22-foot python on her way to work. But first:

Climate change is on the ballot in the midterms: Here’s what’s at stake.

By Elizabeth Weise  Photo: Fernando Vergara/AP   10/22/22  
With half of registered voters saying climate change is one of the most important issues in the upcoming midterm elections, could the results on Nov. 8 mean changes for U.S. policy regarding global warming?

Ahead of the Midterms, Energy Lobbyists Plan for a Republican House

By Eric Lipton  Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times   10/20/22  
Oil and gas industry lobbyists, anticipating that Republicans could take control of the House in the midterm elections, are already working behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to push back against what they consider the…

China accidentally made our gas much cheaper

By Robinson Meyer  Photo: Franco Origlia / Getty   10/19/22  
You’d be forgiven, at this point, for believing in what the MSNBC host Chris Hayes calls the “gas prices monocausal theory” of American politics. Every major political dynamic, every twist and turn in approval polling…

Green energy projects face stark environmental, local opposition nationwide

By Thomas Catenacci   10/17/22  
International Climate Science Coalition Executive Director Tom Harris discusses how he was once a climate alarmist but now sees it as a scam on ‘The Ingraham Angle.’

Leonard Leo Pushed the Courts Right. Now He’s Aiming at American Society.

By Kenneth P. Vogel  Photo: Samuel Corum, The New York Times   10/12/22  
Millions of dollars in television advertisements blasting schools for teaching critical race theory and assailing corporations like BlackRock, Uber and American Airlines for catering to “woke politicians.” A lawsuit pending before the Supreme Court to…

Beset by Drought, a West Texas Farmer Loses His Cotton Crop and Fears a Hotter and Drier Future State Water Planners Aren’t Considering

By Autumn Jones  Photo: Christian Roper   10/05/22  
Climate change is helping fuel the drought, but the state’s political leaders won’t take global warming into account in their water management. “Climate change has become politicized,” says Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon.

As gas prices rise, Democrats scramble to lay blame on Big Oil

By Evan Halper  By Justin Sullivan, Getty Images   10/04/22  
As prices at the pump trend up nationwide, the Biden administration is scrambling to shelter Democrats from consumer frustration, laying blame on oil company opportunism and threatening new restrictions on the industry.

Clash over energy projects could threaten government funding bill

By Jacob Bogage  Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post   09/21/22  
Democrats want to include Sen. Joe Manchin’s proposal in legislation to avoid a shutdown. Republicans don’t.

Republicans plan legal assault on climate disclosure rules for public companies

By Adam Lowenstein  Photo: Leigh Vogel, EPA   09/15/22  
Republican officials and corporate lobby groups are teeing up a multi-pronged legal assault on the Biden administration’s effort to help investors hold public corporations accountable for their carbon emissions and other climate change risks.

Investigating the obstacles to action on climate change.

09/13/22  
A few weeks ago we had Jesse Coleman, with Documented, walk us through how the same dark money network that once funded climate denial is now funding state treasurers in an effort to push back…

Analysis: BlackRock too green for Texas; rest of Wall Street okay – for now

By Ross Kerber and Others  Photo: Angus Mordant, Reuters   08/31/22  
Most big Wall Street firms passed a test for business as usual in Texas last week when state Comptroller Glenn Hegar kept all but BlackRock Inc.(BLK.N) off a list of companies whose stance on boycotting…

How did fighting climate change become a partisan issue?

By Elizabeth Kolbert  Photo: João Fazenda   08/14/22  
Twenty years ago, Senator John McCain tried to spearhead an effort. What has happened to Republicans since then?

Not Even a Single Republican Voted for the Climate Bill

By Robinson Meyer   08/13/22  
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by the House of Representatives today, is about to become the first comprehensive climate legislation in U.S. history. Compared with Congress’s desultory approach to the issue in the past, the…

A victory at whose expense? Climate activists grapple with political compromise.

By Sarah Kaplan  Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images   08/10/22  
This is the moment climate activists had been working toward. After years of protests and political fights, Congress is poised to pass its largest-ever climate bill: a record $369 billion that will be invested in…

Democrats scramble for Sinema’s support on climate, health and tax bill

By Tony Romm  Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post   08/03/22  
The senator from Arizona, a centrist fiscal hawk, previously has raised concerns with plans to revise federal tax laws.

June 2022 Temperature Update & The Bigger Picture

By James Hansen and Others   07/29/22  
It’s hot and getting hotter. The first six months of the year are about 0.2°C cooler than the first six months of 2016 and 2020 (Fig. 1), but that’s only because the current La Nina…

Democrats in … Array?

By Elaine Godfrey  Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images   07/29/22  
The buzz on Capitol Hill has probably made its way to you by now: Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, one of the senators who’s held up the Democrats’ biggest agenda items over the past…

‘Dormant’ Climate Voters Could Swing Elections In Key States, New Poll Suggests

By Alexander C. Kaufman  Photo: Frederic J. Brown, Getty Images   07/28/22  
Vast swaths of the United States are roasting in record heat that threatens blackouts, near-biblical droughts and deaths. Yet as Americans prepare to go to the polls for the 2022 midterm elections, surveys have largely…

After It Narrowed the EPA’s Authority, Talks of Expanding the Supreme Court Garner New Support

By Samantha Hurley  Photo: Samantha Hurley   07/28/22  
The late afternoon sun washed over the United States Supreme Court building as a group of protesters hauled a 15-foot tall prop, modeled after the United States Constitution, through the nearby streets. Instead of “We…

Manchin, in reversal, agrees to quick action on climate and tax plan

By Emily Cochrane, Jim Tankersley and Lisa Friedman  Pete Marovich/The New York Times   07/27/22  
The West Virginia Democrat, a holdout on his party’s domestic agenda, said the package would reduce inflation, a concern he had cited in rejecting it just weeks ago.

Climate change is not negotiable

By The Editorial Board  Illustration: Rebecca Chew/The New York Times   07/23/22  
The American West has gone bone dry, the Great Salt Lake is vanishing and water levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two great life-giving reservoirs on the Colorado River basin, are declining with…

We’ve Had Other Climate Defeats. This One Is by Far the Weirdest.

By Robinson Meyer  Photo: Bloomberg / Getty   07/20/22  
When I started writing about climate change a few years ago, I tried to give readers regular dollops of hope with their gruel. I focused on renewable energy (which was getting cheaper) and American carbon…

Which elected leaders should do more on climate?

By Mira Rojanasakul and Catrin Einhorn  Photo: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication   07/19/22  
It’ll take some time to understand how Americans view last week’s collapse of climate legislation in Congress, but previous data holds some clues. When asked which elected officials should do more on climate, Americans point…

Climate politics are worse than you think

By Paul Krugman  Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images   07/18/22  
Texas is often hot, but not like this: Current forecasts have the temperature in Dallas hitting 109 degrees Tuesday, with highs in triple digits well into next week.

Biden concedes defeat on climate bill as Manchin and inflation upend agenda

By Jim Tankersley, Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport  Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times   07/15/22  
Rising prices, party infighting and the aftershocks from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have undercut the president’s plans to speed an energy transition.

Democrats race to clinch deal on climate, energy with Manchin

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post   07/07/22  
Lawmakers face a fast-ticking clock as they try to secure a deal that would deliver on Biden’s goals and satisfy Manchin’s concerns.

The Supreme Court’s EPA ruling was the beginning of something bigger

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images   07/06/22  
When the Supreme Court limited the Environmental Protection Agency's power to combat climate change last week, Republican attorneys general and conservative legal activists cheered the ruling.

Supreme Court ruling gives leverage to businesses

By Andrew Ross Sorkin  Photo: Anna Rose Layden   07/01/22  
The Supreme Court yesterday limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate power plant emissions, dealing a significant blow to the Biden administration’s climate change agenda. The ruling is the product of a longstanding campaign…

Be the Backlash!

By Bill McKibben   07/01/22  
A reasonable reaction to the week’s Supreme Court rulings, which culminated in Thursday’s gutting of the Clean Air Act, would be: we are so screwed.

Supreme Court Limits Epa In Curbing Power Plant Emissions

By Mark Sherman  Photo: Rick Bowmer   07/01/22  
In a blow to the fight against climate change, the Supreme Court on Thursday limited how the nation’s main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. By a…

Supreme Court sharply limits regulation of carbon emissions

By Paul Blumenthal and Alexander C. Kaufman  Photo: Leigh Vogel via Getty Images   06/30/22  
The Supreme Court just made it much harder for the U.S. government to respond to climate change in a 6-3 decision in the case of West Virginia v. EPA.

US Supreme Court hobbles government power to limit harmful emissions

By Oliver Milman  Photo: David Hawxhurst/Alamy   06/30/22  
Court sides with Republican states as ruling represents landmark moment in rightwing effort to dismantle ‘regulatory state’.

The most profound effect of West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency may ultimately be cultural

By David Wallace-Wells   06/30/22  
Many of the headlines about the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling on West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday have suggested an existential setback: a major blow to American decarbonization and global climate ambition. But…

Supreme Court limits EPA’s authority to regulate power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions

By Melissa Quinn, Li Cohen   06/30/22  
The Supreme Court on Thursday limited the power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, delivering a significant blow to the Biden administration's efforts to fight climate change.

Supreme Court Puts Brakes on EPA in Far-Reaching Decision

By Jan Wolfe and Timothy Puko   06/30/22  
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that federal regulators exceeded their authority in seeking to limit emissions from coal plants in a decision that sharply curtails the executive branch’s authority to make policy actions on a…

Supreme Court Sharply Limits Regulation Of Carbon Emissions

By Paul Blumenthal and Alexander C. Kaufman   06/30/22  
The Supreme Court just made it much harder for the U.S. government to respond to climate change in a 6-3 decision in the case of West Virginia v. EPA. The Thursday decision, written by Chief…

US supreme court rules against EPA and hobbles government power to limit harmful emissions

By Oliver Milman  Photo: David Hawxhurst/Alamy   06/30/22  
The US supreme court has sided with Republican-led states to in effect hobble the federal government’s ability to tackle the climate crisis, in a ruling that will have profound implications for the government’s overall regulatory…

The Supreme Court Tries to Overrule the Climate

By Bill McKibben   06/30/22  
Credit where due: the Supreme Court’s 6–3 ruling in West Virginia v. E.P.A. is the culmination of a five-decade effort to make sure that the federal government won’t threaten the business status quo. Lewis Powell’s…

The Supreme Court Is Jeopardizing Federal Climate Action

By Gregory Barber  Photo: Luke Sharrett/bloomberg/getty Images   06/30/22  
TODAY, IN A ruling on a nonexistent plan with nonexistent harms to the people who brought the suit, the Supreme Court took an opportunity to curb the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate…

US Supreme Court Votes to Cook the Planet by Limiting EPA’s Power

By Lloyd Alter   06/30/22  
To nobody's surprise, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 to make it impossible for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect the environment from climate change, to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power…

U.S. Supreme Court limits federal power to curb carbon emissions

By Lawrence Hurley and Valerie Volcovici   06/30/22  
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday imposed limits on the federal government's authority to issue sweeping regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in a ruling that undermines President Joe Biden's plans to tackle…

Court Decision Leaves Biden With Few Tools to Combat Climate Change

By Coral Davenport  Photo: Kenny Holston   06/30/22  
One by one, the tools available to President Biden to fight climate change are being stripped away. After a Supreme Court decision on Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency will have less authority to limit carbon…