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.
Rather than a people with a common dream and shared understanding of constitutional (federal and state) roots and values, American democracy is devolving into aggressive tribalist factions—where loyalty to the party supersedes that to the nation and, for one group, loyalty to a person trumps everything else—including the truth.
Biden has consistently mentioned in his roadshow presentations that many—if not most—people probably don’t understand the peculiarly named act’s relationship to combatting climate change and expanding the domestic economy.
Too often in an effort to save Mother Nature, we forget about human nature. Solving problems with rolling out clean renewable energy is less a matter of the physical sciences than the social sciences—overcoming users’ habits and project resistance at the local level.
If compromise is an evil, then it’s a necessary one for our republic to work. Without it, I fear we’ll default on more than the national debt. What’s at stake here is democracy itself.
IRA projects and those climate-related provisions attributable to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs and the CHIPS and Science Acts are evidence of the economic and environmental benefits of a transition to a low-carbon economy.
Much remains to be done if we’re to manage a leap toward real democracy—nevertheless, we’ve kept alive our prospects for achieving an ecologically livable future while fending off a host of power grabs by would-be autocrats.
Even without knowing the final outcomes, the focus shifts to the halls of Congress and state legislatures, as well as to the White House and executive mansions around the nation. What it all means for US climate policy is an unfolding story.
The state of federal climate policy is a good news, bad news story. The bad news will likely come in on the developing red tide that looks to flip one or both chambers of Congress to Republican control.
Will the 2022 midterms be like 1994, 2006, and 2018? Or will they result in narrow majorities like those of the 117th Congress, no matter the victors?
Like an environmental impact study, a federal rulemaking can take several years to complete. Legal challenges can extend the overall process by years.
The most powerful Joe in Washington has some decisions to make. No, no, not that Joe. Although he too has some critical choices confronting him. However, it’s a tale best told another day.