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energy politics

While You Were Distracted by Keystone XL

November 23, 2015 by Robert Rapier

Earlier this month, after a debate that spanned nearly the entire duration of his presidency, President Obama finally rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project. He had been heavily criticized on this issue from many angles, including by me, for his long-running failure to make a decision.[read more]


Will the U.S. Comply with President Obama's Paris COP21 INDC Pledge?

November 19, 2015 by John Miller

The Paris Agreement and Political Reality

The Administration submitted an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) for the COP 21 that would commit the U.S. to cut its total greenhouse gas emissions 2005-2025 by 26-28%. Will the U.S. reasonably comply with this commitment based on existing Federal energy related regulations?[read more]

Symbolic Politics, the Keystone Pipeline, and Climate Policy in the Real World

November 18, 2015 by Steven Cohen

From burying a car at the first Earth Day to the campaign to ban the Keystone Pipeline, United States environmentalists have long demonstrated an affinity for symbolic politics. Symbols have meaning and can influence perceptions and values.[read more]

Changing Winds on Ways and Means: PTC Future Uncertain

November 12, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Whoever ends up chairing the Ways and Means committee will have an opportunity to take action on these important credits that bring huge benefits per dollar spent - let's hope they embrace that opportunity to support America's clean energy future.[read more]

Republican Leaders Badly Out Of Step With Party Regulars

October 21, 2015 by Dennis Wamsted

Energy Transition Politics

Congressional Republican leaders and GOP governors have marched virtually in lockstep for the past seven years in the opposite direction of President Obama’s environmental proposals, particularly regarding the development of emissions-free wind and solar power and initiatives to address climate change.[read more]

Sustainability Requires Technology, Ethics, and Political Will

October 21, 2015 by Steven Cohen

The era of climate science denial tells us something about science communication that we need to internalize. Scaring people with doomsday predictions is a losing approach to building an understanding of the facts of earth science.[read more]

Canadian Climate Policy and Your Vote

October 19, 2015 by Mark Jaccard

“Policy academics are cheap dates.” One of my mentors, professor Aiden Vining, loved saying that. His point was that we policy academics will gladly pay for our own dinner if we think that a politician, of any political stripe or shape, wants or needs our advice.[read more]

Sustainability Has Entered the Political Mainstream

October 13, 2015 by Steven Cohen

Last week, former Vice President Al Gore, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Columbia University President Lee Bollinger shared a stage on campus as Governor Cuomo committed New York State to a set of ambitious carbon reduction goals.[read more]

California Backtracks on Its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Program

September 16, 2015 by Henry Auer

California Emissions Efforts

California’s effort to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, initiated by former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, suffered a major setback when present Governor Jerry Brown and state legislators agreed to exempt petroleum from the program. They succumbed to intense pressure from the oil industry.[read more]

Inside Climate Politics

September 14, 2015 by Energy @ MIT

The politics of climate change are often depicted as a simple battle, between environmentalists and particular industries, over government policy. That’s not wrong, but it’s only a rough sketch of the matter. Now a paper co-authored by MIT economist Christopher Knittel fills in some important details.[read more]

Sarah Palin Wants to Be Donald Trump's Energy Secretary

September 7, 2015 by Stephen Lacey

Palin and Energy Politics

When Donald Trump inevitably becomes President of the United States and turns the White House into a Mar-a-Lago private country club, who will join him in his crusade to make America a great place to build golf courses again? The speculation has begun.[read more]

The Environment and the 2016 Elections

August 11, 2015 by Steven Cohen

It's the summer of 2015 and we have already been subjected to a Republican reality show disguised as a political debate. It is too early to know what will happen in next year's elections but obviously not too soon to start thinking about the coming election cycle.[read more]

The Energy Gang: Understanding the Political Turmoil Surrounding Renewables in Australia and Spain [PODCAST]

July 16, 2015 by Stephen Lacey

Two countries with great renewable energy resources in the world -- Australia and Spain -- are also hostile to the industry. Australia just changed its national policies for renewables, upsetting project development plans. And Spain proposed yet another tax on storage systems to discourage self-consumption.[read more]

When Margaret Thatcher and the Dalai Lama Agree

June 15, 2015 by Adam Whitmore

Climate change is a politically divisive issue, with those on the left more active and concerned than conservatives. And there is much evidence that those with different values perceive the issue differently. But concern about climate change can be placed firmly in the mainstream of the conservative tradition.[read more]

The Right Wing's Endless War on Environmental Regulation

May 27, 2015 by Steven Cohen

Since it seems impossible to update our environmental laws in this era of partisan poison, the Obama Administration has been working to use existing laws to update old rules. Updates like these were anticipated by many of our environmental laws.[read more]