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.

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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…

What the Supreme Court’s Ruling on the ‘Clean Air Act’ Means for Carbon Emissions

By Emily Barone  Photo: George Frey/Getty Images   06/30/22  
On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that will hamstring the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate carbon emissions from power plants. The outcome of the case is a big deal for tackling…

Supreme Court’s EPA ruling upends Biden’s environmental agenda

By Maxine Joselow   06/30/22  
The Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions could have far-reaching consequences, according to legal experts, which could curb President Biden’s ambitious plans to tackle climate change along…

What you need to know about the Supreme Court’s EPA case

By Dino Grandoni  Photo: Dane Rhys/Reuters   06/30/22  
The Supreme Court on Thursday curtailed the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to cut climate-warming carbon from the nation’s power plants, handing down a decision in the biggest court case on climate change in more than…

View from the summit: A self-defeating G7 fails on all fronts

By Karl Mathiasen and David M. Herszenhorn  Photo: Ronny Hartmann/AFP via Getty Images   06/28/22  
ZUGSPITZE, Germany — If they needed reminding about the urgency of climate change and their role in stopping it, all G7 leaders had to do was look up.

What’s the next outrage from an illegitimate Supreme Court?

By Bill McKibben   06/24/22  
Having put us in a post-Roe world, they may be aiming for a post-world world. Since the decision leaked this spring—and, really, since transparently political justices Kavanagh and Barrett won their confirmations—one has expected this…

Democrats may drop another clean energy proposal to appease Manchin

By Maxine Joselow and Others  Photo: Sarah Silbiger , Reuters   06/22/22  
Democrats are likely to drop or scale back a key proposal in their party-line bill that would make it easier for clean energy developers to use federal tax credits, as they race to clinch a…

Biden team sees climate ‘emergency,’ but powers are limited

By Dino Grandoni  Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images   06/20/22  
With his climate legislation stalled and a Supreme Court case threatening his ability to regulate carbon, President Biden has been leaning more heavily than ever on his own authority to tackle climate change and address…

The US Can Halve Its Emissions by 2030—if It Wants To

By Matt Simon  Photo: David Paul Morris/Getty Images   06/15/22  
You can’t see them or hear them, but there are huge, hidden forces propelling the United States into the energy future. Last year, the Biden administration committed to eliminating half the country’s greenhouse gas emissions…

Why an energy crisis and $5 gas aren’t spurring a green revolution

By Evan Halper  Photo: George Rose/Getty Images   06/14/22  
As high prices move consumers to rethink their attachment to oil and gas, America is struggling to meet the moment.

Second Trump term would push warming past dangerous limit, warns UN climate chief

By Karl Mathiesen   06/13/22  
Speaking to POLITICO on the sidelines of U.N. climate talks in Bonn, Patricia Espinosa was asked whether she believed a Trump return to the White House — or another Republican with similar climate policies —…

Bills in blue states target the fossil fuel industry for climate damage

Analysis by Maxine Joselow  Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News   05/31/22  
Democratic lawmakers in two of the nation's most populous states are pushing legislation to punish the fossil fuel industry for its apparent role in causing droughts, wildfires and other disasters exacerbated by climate change.

How a Republican effort punishes companies for climate action

By David Gelles and Hiroko Tabuchi  Photo: Kieran Dodds for The New York Times   05/27/22  
Legislators and their allies are running an aggressive campaign that uses public money and the law to pressure businesses they say are pushing “woke” causes.

Corporations Pledge to Buy ‘Green’ at Davos Gathering

By Lisa Friedman  Photo: Gian Ehrenzeller   05/25/22  
More than 50 corporations have joined a global “buyers’ club” that pledges to purchase aluminum, steel and other commodities made from processes that emit little to no carbon, a move that will be announced on…

What Vaccine Apartheid Portends for the Climate Future

By David Wallace-Wells  Photo: Ibrahim Rayintakath   05/24/22  
The pandemic has been furnishing new and distressing episodes almost weekly for more than two years now. But what is in retrospect perhaps the most concerning, for me, came in May 2021, when the International…

Ryan Zinke makes his ‘energy dominance’ pitch to Montanans

By Maxine Joselow and Others  Photo: Melina Mara , The Washington Post   05/19/22  
Zinke, a former Navy SEAL and House member, is vying to represent Montana’s newly created 1st District in the western part of the state. He's running against four other Republicans in the primary election scheduled…

The true cost of the climate stalemate in Congress

By David Wallace-Wells  Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images   05/19/22  
How bad is the climate stalemate? In the United States, we have gotten used to legislative inaction, on climate as with much else. But even by those debased standards a failure to pass a major…

The Roe-Climate Intersection

By Amy Westervelt   05/08/22  
In this week’s podcast episode, among other things, we talked a bit about the various intersections between the leaked Supreme court draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade and climate—from the signal it sends that the…

Europe’s quest to replace Russian gas faces plenty of hurdles

By Clifford Krauss  Photo: Jessica Lutz for The New York Times   05/06/22  
Russia’s natural-gas supplies have become a tool of leverage in its conflict with Europe over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And the stakes are high for Europe, which relies on Russia for 40 percent of…

Biden presses 5th Circuit to uphold key climate metric

By Lesley Clark  Photo: Evan Vucci , AP Photo   05/05/22  
The Biden administration and red states are dueling in multiple courts after a federal judge temporarily blocked use of the social cost of carbon.

Inside Clean Energy: Navigating the U.S. Solar Industry’s Spring of Discontent

By Dan Gearino  Photo: Ideal Energy   05/05/22  
His solar business, Ideal Energy in Fairfield, Iowa, is dealing with the blowback from a Department of Commerce investigation that could lead to retroactive tariffs on certain solar panels imported from Southeast Asia.
NPR

The U.S. may soon export more gas to the EU, complicating climate goals

By Halle Parker   05/04/22  
To help wean Europe off Russian gas, the Biden administration wants to increase U.S. natural gas exports. But critics say that's at odds with the president's climate and environmental justice goals.

Solar Industry ‘Frozen’ as Biden Administration Investigates China

By David Gelles  Photo: Kevin Frayer , Getty Images   04/29/22  
Around the country, solar companies are delaying projects, scrambling for supplies, shutting down construction sites and warning that tens of billions of dollars — and tens of thousands of jobs — are at risk.

The GOP’s New War On Divestment

By Donald Shaw  Photo: Martin Meissner , AP Photo   04/28/22  
Republican state and federal lawmakers, their campaign coffers filled with fossil fuel donations, are quietly building a nationwide effort to pass anti-divestment bills that would punish financial institutions that consider the climate crisis in their…

Republicans ratchet up energy price attacks on Granholm

By Nico Portuondo  Photo: Francis Chung , E&E News   04/28/22  
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm fought off relentless Republican attacks on high energy prices during a House Energy and Commerce hearing this morning on President Joe Biden’s budget request.

Dismal polls have Dems split over how hard to push Biden agenda

By Alexander Bolton   04/28/22  
Democrats are divided over how hard to push President Biden’s agenda in the months remaining until Election Day, uncertain about how much risk to take on at a time when Biden’s approval rating is stuck…

Market ‘in a state of panic’ due to tariff case, interconnection delays: solar developers

By Emma Penrod   04/28/22  
The future of fixed-price power purchase agreements (PPAs) is uncertain as the U.S. solar market seeks to cope with a sudden, extreme shortage of panels on the heels of price hikes and ongoing interconnection delays,…

The New IPCC Report Was Delayed As Scientists Debated Reliance On Carbon Capture

By Ciara Nugent  Photo: Getty Images   04/04/22  
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the worst of climate change would be relatively cheap and technologically feasible, but governments and financial bodies are failing to do so as they continue to prop up the…

Climate investing ‘boycott bills’ flood state capitals

By Zack Colman and Jordan Wolman  Photo: Charlie Riedel , AP   02/15/22  
Texas, West Virginia and Oklahoma are among states moving to bar officials from dealing with businesses that are moving to ditch fossil fuels or considering climate change in their own investments. Those steps come as…

WV Treasurer Moore Leads 15-State Coalition to Push Back Against Bank Boycotts of Traditional Energy Industries

11/22/21  
“I’m proud to continue to stand with my colleagues against these attacks on our states’ coal, oil and natural gas industries,” Treasurer Moore said. “These industries – which are engaged in perfectly legal activities –…

For Biden and Trump, Stark Contrasts on Alternative Energy

By The New York Times   10/22/20  
Joe Biden said solar and wind energy would provide an economic boost, while President Trump questioned their efficiency and called relying on them “a pipe dream.”