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The Environment and the Next Congress

The new Congress will have its sights set on rolling back environmental protections, explain the authors.

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idea light bulbAfter months of speculation about the outcome of yesterday’s elections, it is now clear that Republicans will control both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives starting in January. According to recent analyses of political contributions and advertising spending, fossil-fuel interests—including the conservative billionaire Koch brothers—appear to have played a major role in the races that ultimately decided the balance of power in the Senate. These campaign investments from the oil, gas, and coal industry are likely to have a major impact on the agenda of the coming 114th Congress, as Republican leaders work to pay back the support their fossil-fuel allies provided during the election.

Although media coverage has largely focused on the likelihood that Republican leadership in the next Congress will mandate the approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and attempt to prevent the Obama administration from implementing rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, these are just two elements of a sweeping energy and anti-environmental agenda tailored to fossil-fuel interests.

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