that all those chemical dispersants which “BP applied directly at the spewing wellhead – about a mile below the Gulf of Mexico’s surface – failed to curb the oil’s spread” and made things even worse. (See some of our prior coverage here.) Apparently, no one has yet come up with an alternative plan the next time an explosion like this happens. So there’s that.
But back to climate. faced ballot initiatives to make “sweeping changes to environmental regulations.” These, of course, were heavily opposed by oil, gas and mining companies, which vastly outspent proponents of these measures with boatloads of out-of-state money. As a result, the ballot initiatives “largely flopped … including Colorado's increased restrictions on oil and gas drilling, and Arizona's 50 percent renewable energy mandate."
But don’t feel discouraged yet. Consider this. While polluters were dumping money into states to defeat ballot initiatives, and Trump has been engaged in “full-throated … efforts to roll back regulations regarding climate change and other environmental issues,” seven governorships and four state AG from Republican to Democrat this past election, and "[m]any of the new governors made climate change and clean energy part of their campaign platforms."
In other words, state-based actions on climate and clean energy now may be more likely.
Also more likely? :
"We're going to see a significant increase in litigating and policymaking at the state level with this new leadership," said partner Hilary Tompkins, a former solicitor at the U.S. Department of the Interior and counsel to former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. "We're also going to see a lot of legal debates in the courts ramped up against the Trump administration where the states of these newly elected officials are going to be arguing their states' rights to enact policies addressing climate change."…
Expect the legal clashes over these divergent priorities to increase, experts say. Democratic AGs have already launched court challenges to a slew of deregulatory moves from the Trump administration, from to the clamping down on methane emissions from gas wells on public lands.
It's safe to say those AGs have picked up some allies in such fights following Election Day.
Another hopeful note comes from passionate U.S. “climate kids” trying to fix the world before it's destroyed. Yet given the ever increasing rightward, pro-corporate shift of the U.S. Supreme Court, litigation may not be the best path forward - at least not for them, and at least not in the United States.
, in Europe, “The Hague Court of Appeal ruled that the preservation of a stable climate system is a fundamental human right and ordered the Dutch government to meet its promises of making sharp cuts in greenhouse gas emissions."
, “In the United States, a landmark climate case filed by 21 young Americans, ages 11 through 22, hit a snag at the U.S. Supreme Court.” Although right now, it’s just a snag.
Since it was first filed in 2015 during the Obama administration, the “climate kids” case, backed by some of the country’s top climate scientists, has made unexpected progress, with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals twice ruling that the case should proceed to a trial on its merits. In July, the Supreme Court, while noting that the “breadth of [Plaintiff’s] claims is striking,” nevertheless denied a Trump administration request to halt the suit….
Then, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in. Chief Justice John Roberts, in a highly unusual step, intervened on the U.S. government’s behalf and ordered a temporary halt to a federal district court trial … just 10 days before the trial was scheduled to begin on October 29. Roberts ordered a stay in the case while the plaintiffs responded to the government’s request to dismiss the suit.
Fortunately, a November 2 SCOTUS order said “it would not intercede in the case, allowing the trial to proceed.” However, “[l]egal analysts say that in all likelihood, the Juliana case will ultimately be rejected by the Supreme Court, which now includes two conservative judges appointed by Trump, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.”
We shall see. Activists say they are not giving up. And as a result of this week's election, more and more states hopefully will be able to help.