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6 - Bargaining for the Future

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2023

Alexander F. Gazmararian
Affiliation:
Princeton University, New Jersey
Dustin Tingley
Affiliation:
Harvard University, Massachusetts
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Summary

In 1990, the United States passed groundbreaking amendments to the Clean Air Act to combat acid rain. This legislation has saved countless lives, spurred innovation, and helped lay the groundwork for more ambitious climate policy. But as one might suspect, it was a major legislative battle. And one part largely ignored in the literature on this momentous legislative achievement was a proposal from the infamous Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. He and a group of lawmakers fought for substantial funding for coal workers that would be put out of work by the acid rain law. We tell the story of this legislative battle, which highlights themes discussed in the book. We then contrast the Appalachian coal transition with Germany's coal phase-out, including how their political and social systems facilitate or frustrate transitions.

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Chapter
Information
Uncertain Futures
How to Unlock the Climate Impasse
, pp. 147 - 175
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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