Sep 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Why ending the filibuster might not guarantee big climate legislation after a blue wave

If Democrats win the Senate and White House, ending the filibuster would lower the huge hurdles before climate legislation. But there could be other knock-on effects.

The intrigue: Big climate legislation would hardly be a guarantee, given resistance among Democrats from fossil fuel-producing states, according to a wide-ranging election look-ahead note from ClearView Energy Partners.

  • And an outside-the-box analysis: "[T]he volatility of a filibuster-free Senate could encourage lawmakers to pass laws that spend money quickly lest a future Congress reverse them."

Why it matters: "[P]ost-filibuster policy volatility could encourage lawmakers to pursue potentially market distorting, up-front spending on energy programs."

  • This "race to deploy" could increase renewable project costs.
  • "Meanwhile, deadline-driven (rather than market-driven) capacity deployments amid stagnant demand could depress prices for all fuels and technologies."

The big picture: The analysis comes as Joe Biden is calling for a $2 trillion investment in clean energy and climate-friendly infrastructure during his first term.

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