After a presidential campaign that gave historic prominence to climate change and a debate over the future of the oil industry, Democrat Joe Biden’s victory – even in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the oil industry – could have been a cause for jubilation by environmentalists.
But hold the champagne. Green dreams about the Biden Administration have been sobered by the reality that Republicans appear likely to retain control of the U.S. Senate – pending special elections in Georgia on January 5. A continued Republican majority would likely block any sweeping climate legislation along the lines of the Green New Deal, which seeks to create millions of jobs through investments in clean energy.
“The fact that Mitch McConnell (the Senate Majority Leader) is there now and could possibly be there next year clearly will make it more difficult to pass important initiatives,” said U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, a Democrat. “That said, No. 1, we hope to win the two Georgia Senate Seats. Number 2, I know that a President Biden is going to work hard to push through this climate agenda in Congress, no matter what.”