Are ‘Green’ Agendas Carrying Governors to Political Cliffs?

by Gordon Tomb at

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon are riding the same “green energy” horse, trotting into the sunset — or toward a political cliff.

After voicing concerns, Shapiro is pressing ahead with Pennsylvania’s proposed participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, appealing a Commonwealth Court ruling barring the governor from unilateral action. He also has proposed expanding subsidies for “alternative energy” sources.

In the Cowboy State, Gordon advocates “decarbonizing the West” with a facility that would suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Challenged by state legislators to debate his proposal publicly, Gordon ultimately declined.

Both governors have drawn fire from political critics, mostly Republicans, who note that their states’ economies rely heavily on fossil fuel production to generate affordable electricity and create high-paying jobs.

Do Shapiro and Gordon believe they are saving the planet? Or do they consider the environmental lobby more powerful than the voters who would foot the bill for their “green” initiatives with higher energy prices and power outages?

The political headwinds of “green” energy policies aren’t restricted to Pennsylvania and Wyoming. While these governors are sticking to their agendas, politicians worldwide face career-threatening backlashes to climate activism.

As physics teaches us, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Climate activists swung the political pendulum in one extreme direction. Now, the pendulum is heading toward its logical pivot: “Eco-friendly” governments losing to skeptical political forces.

In Germany, a constitutional court ruled that one of the “government’s main gimmicks for funding green projects” violates the law. The ruling forced the government to “level with voters about how much the net-zero energy transition will cost,” resulting in “a fiscal moment of truth that exploded into a political crisis.”

Calling climate change “a socialist lie,” self-described libertarian Javier Milei surprised some Argentinians by beating the incumbent president substantially, “fueling concerns that South America’s second-largest economy will backtrack on climate promises.” However, Argentinians’ concerns about raging inflation and economic stagnation trumped climate change.

In the Netherlands, the Party for Freedom won parliamentary elections, replacing a government that sought to kill off large segments of Dutch agriculture to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The winning party’s manifesto declares, “We have been made to fear climate change for decades. … We must stop being afraid.”

In addition to political fallout, economic troubles in green energy abound. Ford and General Motors have cut investments into poorly selling electric vehicles. Meanwhile, Siemens Energy, a wind turbine manufacturer, reports multibillion dollar losses.