Nat Keohane on the results of the U.S. midterm elections

Statement of Nathaniel Keohane
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
November 16, 2022

On the results of the U.S. midterm elections and projected Republican House Majority:

“America’s economic prosperity depends on winning the global clean energy race and leading the world into a thriving low-carbon future. The question facing the incoming Republican majority in the House is whether to engage constructively in helping to shape that clean energy future.

“The last two years have seen enormous progress on U.S. climate action. The historic investments of the bipartisan infrastructure package and the Inflation Reduction Act made a critical down payment on the U.S. target of reducing climate pollution 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Those laws will drive hundreds of billions of dollars into clean energy infrastructure, supporting good jobs and boosting America’s energy security. It’s no surprise that the legislation has broad public support.

“But it is not enough simply to rest on our laurels or protect what’s already been passed. We need to build on success with the executive actions and additional legislation needed to meet our commitments to the rest of the world — and to ensure good jobs, a bright economic future, and a healthy environment here at home. Failing to capitalize on the progress made in the last 18 months would be an unnecessary ‘own goal,’ eroding our strategic advantages in clean energy and making it harder for domestic industries to compete in a 21st century economy that will be defined by the transition to a low-carbon future.

“Several promising areas exist for bipartisan cooperation on climate change, including federal permitting for clean energy deployment; research and development funding for clean energy technologies; industrial decarbonization; trade policy; and nature-based solutions. The clean energy transition is too vital to simply accept the conventional wisdom that bipartisan progress is no longer possible.

“In the meantime, there is no time to lose for the White House to launch a whole-of-government effort to rapidly put in place the rules, guidance, and investments needed to realize the enormous potential of IRA and the infrastructure bill. With COP27 in Sharm El-Sheik marking a crucial pivot to a focus on implementing the policies necessary to meet national climate targets, what the Biden Administration does in the coming months to ensure the success of those investments can set a powerful example for the world.

“At C2ES, we look forward to continuing to work with business leaders and with policymakers in both parties of Congress and in the Administration to promote practical and effective climate policies that will unlock vital private-sector investments in low-carbon solutions and accelerate the transition to a thriving, just, and resilient net-zero economy.”