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Climate politics has taken a 180-degree turn in favor of federal action thanks to the voters of Georgia. The Democrats’ surprising double win in the Peach State’s runoff elections has turned the US Senate from red to blue — or more accurately blue-ish.

With both the House and Senate in Democratic hands, it becomes possible for the incoming Biden administration and the Democrats in Congress to move quickly on a wide range of climate-related matters. …


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Courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

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 lost steam in 2020. It had been expected that the 2020 elections would build on the 2018 victories and possibly lead to capturing the Senate.

The anticipated blue wave broke badly, never making it onto Congressional shores. It is destined to profoundly impact the abilities of the Biden White House and Democratic Congressional leaders to take the bold steps needed to slow and then reduce net greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector to zero over the next 15 years. …


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Photo by Becky Phan on Unsplash

Other arms reach out to me
And other eyes will smile tenderly
Still, in peaceful dreams, I see
The road leads back to you

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 in as the 46th President of the United States.

The College’s vote will finalize the election of Joe Biden. It will not, however, bring an end to the 2020 election cycle. …


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Defund the police? Defund my butt. I’m a proud West Virginia Democrat.

We do not have some crazy socialist agenda.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Introduction

President-Elect Biden ran as a unifier in a time of deep division. His job as president has been made all the more difficult by voters having denied the Democrats control of Congress.

The last president who entered his first-term without his party in control of Congress was George H. W. Bush in 1989. The last Democrat who suffered the same fate was Grover Cleveland in 1885. …


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Courtesy of Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

Introduction

The 2020 elections are almost history. What’s left are the Georgia Senate runoff elections in January, and President Trump running out of brows to beat, and judges willing to indulge his unsubstantiated claims.

Biden’s election means a presidential assault on the nation’s environmental protection framework is coming to an end. The President-Elect has vowed to build it back better than before. To do that, he will need to convince a conflicted government to cooperate with him. It may prove a more daunting task than winning the presidency.

Climate activists thought that 2020 would be the year when voters finally provided clear and unambiguous support for an encompassing climate defen-se plan and the lawmakers who would put it into action. It was a year in which politics and science both took center stage. …


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Introduction

The transition from candidate to president provides critical clues as to how he is likely to rule. Above everything else, politics is a team sport. Therefore, the first tells of a president-elect’s hand is who he reaches out to as personal staff and those being considered for cabinet positions. The experience of the var-ious candidates can say a lot about the priorities being placed on multiple issues.

The best presidents may not be the smartest in a bookish sense — neither are they necessarily the ones with a strong sense of self. High marks are to be given to a president who understands his strengths and weaknesses and is not threatened by staff who may be smarter than them on different issues. …


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Photo courtesy of Suzy Brooks and Unsplash

It’s the morning after the day before, and the only sure thing is the election bodes badly for Mother Earth and the Democrats. Make no mistake — climate change was front and center in the 2020 elections. President Trump and a majority of Congressional Republicans are unlikely to feel any special urge to do much about Earth’s warming or to enact science-based policies.

Even should Biden win the White House, Senate Republicans will have outsized control over what gets passed by Congress. Majority Leader McConnell will leverage his stopping powers whether approving Biden’s cabinet and judicial nominees or appropriating the funds needed to put his policies in play. Depending on the final vote tallies, some 2020 elections will be better than others. How you view them will rest on whether you’re a half-full or half-empty kinda person. …


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At my doctor’s the other day we somehow, got into a conver-sation about climate change. He’s a self-professed old-school conservative Republican. I’m not, which probably accounts for our usually staying away from talking politics.

It is not to say we don’t agree on some things in the political realm. For example, we both fret for the loss of civility and the nation’s future should Donald Trump be re-elected.

Like a lot of people these days, we both voted early. I know it hurt him to vote for Biden. However, sometimes you gotta take one for the team.

I like my doctor. So as a gesture of goodwill, I promised to vote for a Repub-lican sometime in the future. The truth is, it’s not much of a sacrifice. I’ve voted and worked for Republicans in the past. I suspect I will again in the future — assuming the Party of Trump goes back to being the Party of Lincoln. …


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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 sure to be dis-appointed. His works and what he’s wrought will linger long after the man has left the building.

Transitions can be hard for out-going members of a defeated administration. The power of the presidency is a heady business. For those close to it, going back to “civilian life” can be a real downer. …


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First Earth Day 1970 New York City

If, as it appears now, the environment will become a major issue in the 1972 race for the White House, there will be action all right as both Democrats and Republicans play to outdo each other at pollution politics, which in this case is the advantage of a two-party system. — Bill Downs, war correspondent ABC News

The scraping sound you may be hearing where you are is the sound of Republican candidates for Congress practicing a version of distancing in a time of contagion. …

About

Joel B. Stronberg

Stronberg is a senior executive and attorney with over 40 years of experience in federal and state energy, environmental and sustainability issues.

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