Federal news tends to steal the limelight, but when it comes to spearheading innovative climate and energy policy, states are really where the action is.

World leaders gathered at the United Nations Climate Action Summit earlier this week, where Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on countries to boost their commitments to fighting the climate crisis with concrete plans rather than platitudes. Although President Trump stopped by the summit on Monday, the U.S. was effectively absent from the high profile event.

In fact, the federal government has been pulling back on its climate commitments. But there is still climate leadership to be found in the United States ⁠— it’s just coming largely from the subnational level.

In this week's episode of Political Climate, we discuss how states are leading the way on climate and clean energy policy in the absence of federal action. We'll share an interview with New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on how she’s transitioning her fossil-fuel-heavy state to 100 percent clean electricity, while also cleaning up the extraction industry.

Then we'll bring you a conversation recorded live at the National Association of State Energy Officials' annual meeting earlier this month, where we sat down with NASEO’s seasoned legal expert Jeff Genzer to discuss how both red and blue states (including some you might not expect) are implementing innovative carbon-reducing policies.

Recommended reading:

  • NYT: At U.N. Climate Summit, Few Commitments and U.S. Silence
  • GTM: New Mexico Governor to Sign 100% Clean Electricity Bill ‘As Quickly As Possible’
  • Reuters: Minnesota, New Mexico to Adopt California Vehicle Emissions Rules
  • EcoWatch: States March Toward 100% Clean Energy – Who’s Next?
  • CCL: Bipartisan Climate Working Group Forms in Senate, Led by Sens. Coons and Braun

Political Climate is produced in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, and thanks to invaluable support from producer Victoria Simon.

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