3. Even beginning local legislation has national effects
One or two Republicans have consistently voted for renewable energy legislation over the past two decades: Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe – – both from America’s equivalent of Sweden: 55% renewably powered Maine.
This indicates that it is possible to turn Fossil Party Senators into Future Party votes, once a tipping point is reached in their state. Legislation like the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires that an increasing percent of utility energy must come from renewables, increases the chances.
Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa might be next. Iowa now gets 15% of its energy from wind, because of local renewable energy legislation. It doesn’t have to be a high trigger. Thirteen percent renewably powered California’s Republican Governor is another example.
This effect of local change is why funding the development of a world-class wind center in South Carolina was good strategery on the part of the Obama administration. Republican Lindsay Graham is a key climate vote and will only solidify once wind energy takes hold in his state.
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