When the new slate of GOP candidates take office in January they will make good on their threats to go to war against climate protections.
Now that Republicans control both houses of Congress and have won governorships in blue states like Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois, we can expect them to wage a holy war against the climate.
Make no mistake about it, this is the most climate hostile Congress the world has ever seen.
Above all they will fight carbon reduction efforts. They will ignore the fact that most Americans support it, they will scoff at dozens of warnings based on peer reviewed science and they will ignore the economic costs of inaction.
President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be the GOP’s primary targets. They will focus on EPA initiatives related to clean air and water, above all they will try to strip the EPA of its power to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs).
They will try to kill the Clean Power Plan and assault WOTUS (a proposal to add streams and wetlands to the Clean Water Act). They will also try to destroy the EPA’s efforts to curtail ground-level ozone (an air pollutant that can cause respiratory problems). If Congress does not succeed in killing the EPA’s regulatory authority, Conservative governors will simply refuse to implement them.
In addition to their efforts to dismantle protections for clean air and water they will try to push forward fossil fuel initiatives that will add more emissions. This includes the Keystone XL which is a top priority issue for many Republican lawmakers. The new Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) may even force his love of coal back on the nation. They will also go after all forms of government support for renewable sources of energy.
If the Republicans have their way, the US will never be able to meet its emissions reductions commitments under the 2009 Copenhagen Accord and rather than combating climate change, the US will be the world’s leading contributor.