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Howard A. Learner

2020 Post Election Summary and Impacts on Midwest Environment

What does this election mean for the Midwest's environment?

Election Day, nationally, was full of surprises. Election outcomes in the battleground Midwest states, however, ended up mostly as expected when all votes were finally counted. The “Blue Wall” of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin held for President-elect Joe Biden albeit with narrower margins than most polls forecasted. The Midwest’s Congressional Delegation and State Legislatures remained largely unchanged even following hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign spending by both sides and affiliated PACs.

The Midwest/Great Lakes states provided President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris with their critical margin of victory. That should be reflected in the incoming administration’s policies and priorities. While the nation was transfixed by the 2020 election votes being methodically counted over the past week, this is the starting line and kick-off for the hotly-contested 2022 Governors races in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

President-elect Biden’s and Vice-President-elect Harris’s election lifts up hope and unity, democracy and decency. There should be new opportunities for environmental progress:

  • Pres.-elect Biden’s election means that we should be able to work much more productively with the U.S. EPA, CEQ, and the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Interior, Justice and Transportation to advance positive actions, instead of ELPC and our colleagues facing and challenging the Trump administration’s continual rollbacks of core environmental protections.
  • Climate change actions are among Pres.-elect Biden’s top priorities:  Americans have “given us a mandate for action on COVID, the economy, climate change, systemic racism.”
  • Expect the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and the Biden administration to begin reversing many of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental actions on Day One.
  • Look for a COVID-19 and overall economic stimulus and infrastructure bill to hopefully move forward in Congress with significant clean energy and transportation components.
  • The centrality of the Great Lakes states in the 2020 election and the upcoming 2022 Gubernatorial elections likely support bipartisan actions to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

To get a full picture of how this election will impact the Midwest Congressional delegation, governorships, state legislatures, and to see state by state breakdowns, read our full analysis below.

ELPC 2020 Election Memo

ELPC will be doing much more strategizing and planning in light of the 2020 elections. For now, President-elect Biden’s and Vice-President-elect Harris’s election lifts up hope and unity, democracy and decency. We live in two Americas when it comes to politics, policies and values, to advancing racial justice and equality, and to geography. Pres.-elect Biden and Vice-Pres.-elect Harris are right on-target about the overriding, compelling need to bring Americans together as we face the multiple challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, racial injustice and extreme political divisiveness. Let’s engage and all come together to advance positive solutions for people, our communities and our planet. “Yes, we can.”

Howard A. Learner,

President and Executive Director, Environmental Law & Policy Center

Howard Learner is an experienced attorney serving as the President and Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. He is responsible for ELPC’s overall strategic leadership, policy direction, and financial platform.

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