This state is blue, but loves oil
Can it go blue and shift to a green economy?
Monday, April 19th @ 9pm ET on Clubhouse: When I think of which states embody the “purple” characterization most, Pennsylvania is atop the list. In honor of Earth Day, we discuss the state through a climate lens with local climate leaders and elected officials Derek Greene and Josh Maxwell.
We have gone off of the beaten path to Alaska and New Hampshire. Now, let’s explore a state that we all hear plenty about in presidential election years: Pennsylvania.
Since 1992, Pennsylvania has voted for a Republican presidential candidate once – in 2016. In that timeframe, though, it has only re-elected one Democrat to the U.S. Senate, current Senator Bob Casey, who has a checkered history supporting reproductive rights and was one of seven Democrats to vote with Republicans against a ban of the fossil fuel extraction process known as fracking. This can be attributed, in part, to the state’s deep and rich history as the source of America’s first major oil wells and as a hub of the nation’s coal industry. There are signs that the oil boom could soon subside and that concern means there is an opening for green energy.
Still, the state’s political split runs deep. Since 2000, ~60 percent of the Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation has been Republican and since 2010 Republicans have had control of the state legislature where they hold substantial (and recently expanded) majorities.
If Democrats are to win the presidency and control the U.S. Senate for, at least, the next decade then Pennsylvania is critical. With its fossil fuel history and the state’s tilt blue, Pennsylvania is also at the center of our battle to win the climate narrative and shift to a green economy. With the state’s competitive gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, and state legislature elections in 2022, we have an immediate opportunity to set the course for a green and blue future for our country.
What We are Reading
“Union leaders told POLITICO that Democratic officials and the Biden administration still have trouble getting their minds around how expensive aid will be to salvage Appalachian towns whose mountains are pockmarked with tapped out coal mines, much less for preventing the same fate in oil-and-gas towns in North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and elsewhere.” (Politico)
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