When the branches of government no longer function as constitutionally intended, the bough of democracy threatens to break.
Partisan Politics: My Party Right or Wrong
The 2016 presidential election and the period following will undoubtedly be remembered as a watershed in American politics. It is too early to tell just how the election and its aftermath will be recalled by historians; its consequences are still unfurling and likely to continue doing so through the next presidential election cycle in 2020.
It is never too early, however, for the clean energy and climate defending communities to begin thinking seriously in terms of what comes next. Will the molds broken in 2016 be recast as they were, or will the anger, division and disgruntlement continue in 2020 and beyond?
Will the next nominees for president and Congress be consummate outsiders or will establishment politicians be re-established? Can either of the two major political parties be counted on to halt the damage done by Trump and company to the environment—to say nothing of reinstating needed protections and making up for the time already lost in transitioning to a low-carbon future?
Six months into his presidency, it is clear the chaos of the campaign has accompanied The Donald into the Oval Office. It is likely chaos will rule longer than Trump himself.
The most potent weapon in the Trump administration’s arsenal for defeating efforts to combat climate change and slowing the adoption of solar, wind and other low-carbon energy sources is one rarely spoken of: federal preemption of state-based incentives and policies like Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).
Joel B. Stronberg
Joel Stronberg, MS, JD., of The JBS Group is a veteran clean energy policy analyst with over 30 years’ experience, based in Washington, DC.