In the NewsSeptember 18, 2019

Red State Opposition To Climate Action May Not Remain Entrenched Forever

In the wake of Hurricane Dorian — the fifth hurricane to reach Category 5 status over the last four North Atlantic hurricane seasons— the question keeps nagging: Is there nothing that will disrupt the nation’s political stalemate on climate response? A growing number of Americans describe climate change as a crisis, and two thirds say too little is being done about it. And yet the fact remains that a bloc of GOP-leaning “red” states — entrenched in the Senate — constitute what Ron Brownstein calls a “brown barricade.” Hailing from states that are heavy fossil-fuel producers or consumers, these states and their senators continue to represent a seemingly immutable blockade against serious climate response, even as scientific consensus signals an emergency and new data shows the rate of planetary warming is accelerating. This post was adapted from a Brookings Institute study based on research by the Lab.