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November 1, 2020

Analysts See Democrats Likely to Win the Senate, Opening the Door to Climate Legislation

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

As Democrats mount strong challenges to incumbent Republican senators, InsideClimate News spoke to several experts about what the potential return of a Democratic majority in the Senate could mean for congressional action on climate change.

"There is a real possibility of movement, but it will be a slog," said Kate Konschnik, director of the Climate and Energy Program at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Konschnik, who served as chief environmental counsel to Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island during the Senate's unsuccessful 2010 attempt to pass major climate legislation, told InsideClimate News that she remembers watching the process get bogged down by a myriad of competing, "legitimate concerns" voiced by everyone from senior citizens to heavy industry. But a new Democratic majority in the Senate, she said, should find far greater awareness now about the threats posed by climate change and energy economics that are more favorable to action.