Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Carl Pope

Senate Gridlock Can’t Stop America’s Clean Energy Revolution

Cities, states and businesses will keep lowering emissions, no matter what happens in Washington.

Technological progress.

Technological progress.

Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

In naming former Secretary of State John Kerry to become America’s global climate czar, President-elect Joe Biden is wasting no time making emissions reduction a top White House priority. Political observers are already gaming how much Biden will be able to accomplish on climate protection. Will Mitch McConnell lead a Republican Senate to tie up legislation? If the two Georgia Democratic candidates prevail in their runoff elections, can a Chuck Schumer-led Senate bridge divisions among Republican oil minions, progressive climate hawks and moderate “all of the above” straddlers?

Either way, the conventional wisdom runs, President Biden will have a hard time delivering on his pledge to decarbonize the U.S. power and road-transportation sectors on the way to achieving a 100% clean energy economy by mid-century.