Currently — November 10th, 2022

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Climate Midterm Elections

Though the much-hyped “red wave” didn’t sweep the United States during the 2022 midterm elections as many anticipated, climate action certainly did.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the climate policy wins (and losses) from Tuesday night:

WIN: Texas

On Wednesday morning, Republican Alexandra del Moral Mealer conceded her loss to incumbent Democrat Lina Hidalgo in the race for Harris County Judge. Harris County is the third most populous county in the state of Texas and houses many oil and petrochemical operations. Hidalgo has made it clear that she will prioritize the environment by incorporating climate flood maps into city planning, for example, and hiring environmental prosecutors that will hold large industrial firms accountable.

WIN: New York

New York passed a $4.2 billion proposal for climate infrastructure – $1.5 billion will go towards pollution cleanup, wetland protection, clean energy projects and electric school bus fleets. The other $1 billion will be spent on coastal shoreline restoration, and the rest divided between sewage infrastructure and land and fish conservation.

WIN: Minnesota

In Minnesota, democrats have gained control of the state, allowing them to finally achieve many of the state’s climate goals, including boosting the 1 percent of electric vehicles to 20 percent by 2030 and restoring forests and wetlands to meet its carbon-free power target.

WIN: Michigan

Due to both Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel defeating their GOP opponents, they now have a good change of winning the ongoing lawsuit against Enbridge Energy to eventually shut down Line 5, a 1950s liquid gas and crude oil pipeline that transports 22 million gallons of crude oil and natural gas liquids through Wisconsin and Michigan. If the pipeline were to remain, it could destroy the surrounding area as well as tribal land.

LOSS: California

Voters rejected a proposal to raise taxes on multi-millionaires to make electric vehicles more affordable to properly address global warming.

Remember, our climate future is shaped by both big and small elections — it’s not all up to the Senate. So, please pay attention to county and city council elections, as well as races for state treasurers and attorneys general. Every action matters.

And though there’s still work to be done, this midterm’s unexpected climate wins are a step in pushing the nation towards an equitable future filled with climate justice and action.

—Aarohi Sheth

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