Congressional Climate Camp #3: Lessons Learned from Past Congresses and Current Attitudes on Climate
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute brought together a variety of leaders and stakeholders together to examine past legislative efforts and future opportunities to act on and initiate climate policy. Panelists highlighted how big legislative wins, like the Clean Air Act, were critical turning points for environmental policy. But at the same time, policies that aren't ultimately enacted into law—like the Clean Power Plan—can still be instrumental in illustrating the role that policy can and should have in tackling climate issues. Experts in community engagement highlighted how these policies are much more effective when multiple stakeholders are engaged in the process. Broad stakeholder engagement often means looking for bipartisan support. For some political actors, bipartisan collaboration can seem like “bad politics.” In reality, however, it can actually lead to some of the most successful and lasting policies. One panelist even points out that there is little evidence that candidates are punished in the polls for compromising while working on bipartisan efforts.