Here’s What Every Governor Thinks About Climate And Clean Energy
Many governors simply haven’t answered questions about climate change publicly, and so curious constituents will have to wait until their governor shares his or her thoughts on climate change or begins to wield regulatory power over the state’s energy and pollution priorities.
Governor David Ige (D-HI) has taken action on climate adaptation in the legislature and has also said he will move for the Department of Health to create rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Newly-elected Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf believes in clean energy investment and said he wants to “remove the politics from the discussion about climate change and global warming.” Then-candidate Wolf also promised to try and move the state into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
The newly-elected governors on this list each have opportunities to listen to the consensus of the world’s top scientists that climate change is happening, humans are causing it, and it’s both critical and possible to cut emissions. If more new governors speak up and tell their constituents that they accept the reality of mainstream climate science and lead their states toward a commitment to efficient, clean, renewable power, the ranks of the “green” governors should grow. If, on the other hand, more governors who voiced skepticism about plans to cut carbon pollution take their rhetoric to outright climate denial, the numbers of the red striped climate denier governors will expand.
Nationwide, 16 governors explicitly reject the reality of mainstream climate science, up from 15 before the elections. The number that have been hostile to the idea of cutting carbon emissions and have not said explicitly whether they deny mainstream climate science decreased by one, from ten to nine. There is one fewer in the group who accepts the science to a degree but have mixed records when it comes to acting on that knowledge — earning them an orange “mixed” label. The number of governors with strong climate and clean energy records and who accept the science dropped by one, from 13 to 12.