This week in #water: Did the Midterms Reveal an Emerging “Green Wave”? — H2O Radio #ActOnClimate

Click the link to go to the H2O Radio webiste. Here’s an excerpt:

Last Tuesday’s election was really good for the climate. Voters did not generate a massive red wave that could have swamped efforts to combat global warming. Instead, there could be an emerging green wave supporting climate action.

Among the winners was the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed by Congress in August, which combines decreasing greenhouse gas emissions with economic development and supports electric vehicles and renewables. Not a single Republican voted for it. The Atlantic reports that even though the legislation may not be all that’s needed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, it’s still the country’s first comprehensive climate law. Now, with Democrats controlling the Senate, it is unlikely Republicans will be able to obstruct President Biden’s implementation of the IRA.

This election was significant because past efforts by Democrats to fight climate change have been opposed by voters. In 1994, 53 Democrats in the House lost elections after President Clinton tried, but failed, to pass a bill that would have supported renewables and imposed a BTU tax, like a carbon tax. Democrats in the House were again defeated in 2009, after they passed a cap-and-trade bill. But the recently passed IRA does not seem to have cost a single supporter his or her seat and, as E&E News reports, there were very few political ads that even mentioned the legislation.

In addition, voters in New York passed a proposal that will spend $4.2 billion on water infrastructure, climate change mitigation, and environmental projects—all while adding 100,000 jobs. They also kept Gov. Kathy Hochul, instead of her challenger, Republican Lee Zeldin, who had pledged to lift a ban on fracking.

Democratic governors who support combating climate change were elected in ten states, including Wes Moore of Maryland, who put climate change at the center of his campaign. In Massachusetts, the Democratic attorney general, who sued ExxonMobil for misleading about global warming science, was elected governor.

New Mexico is now the country’s second largest oil-producing state, but in congressional races voters replaced a Republican with a Democrat and re-elected two backers of the IRA. In Colorado, a Democrat was elected in the new 8th Congressional District, which includes much of the state’s oil and gas activity.

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