160 episodes

A podcast on energy and environmental issues in America and around the world. Presented by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and Canary Media. Political Climate goes beyond echo chambers to bring you civil conversations, fierce debates and insider perspectives on the policy landscape. Join hosts Julia Pyper, Brandon Hurlbut and Shane Skelton as we explore how energy and climate decisions get made and the political interests powering them.

Political Climate Political Climate

    • News
    • 4.8 • 242 Ratings

A podcast on energy and environmental issues in America and around the world. Presented by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and Canary Media. Political Climate goes beyond echo chambers to bring you civil conversations, fierce debates and insider perspectives on the policy landscape. Join hosts Julia Pyper, Brandon Hurlbut and Shane Skelton as we explore how energy and climate decisions get made and the political interests powering them.

    The Most Pivotal Years for Climate Policy

    The Most Pivotal Years for Climate Policy

    After 160 episodes and five years of interviews, debates and friendly bipartisan banter, Political Climate will be taking a break starting in 2023. This will be the final episode (for now).

    This podcast was launched to create a forum for respectful, informative dialogue across the political divide on the policy and politics of climate and energy. Host Julia Pyper, Republican co-host Shane Skelton and Democratic co-host Brandon Hurlbut have never debated the science of climate change, but have had in-depth discussions on how to craft climate policy that’s not only effective but politically feasible. The show has spanned the most pivotal five years for climate action, culminating in the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest national investment in clean energy in history. 

    In this final episode, the hosts dig into the archives to hear from some of the show’s most notable guests including Political Climate supporter Arnold Schwarzenegger, activist Greta Thunberg, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and many more. They also reflect on the rocky journey that led to this point, changes in public opinion on climate change, and the widening Overton window for climate action. 

    Thank you to everyone for listening and for your support over the years. 

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    Political Climate is brought to you by MCE. Today, MCE offers nearly 40 Bay Area communities almost twice as much renewable energy as the state average. The power of MCE is about more than clean energy — it’s the power of people over profit. Learn more at mceCleanEnergy.org.

    Support for Political Climate also comes from Climate Positive, a podcast from Hannon Armstrong, the first U.S. public company solely dedicated to investing in climate solutions. The Climate Positive podcast features candid conversations with the leaders, innovators and changemakers driving our climate-positive future. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Retooling Old, Polluting Infrastructure for the Clean Economy

    Retooling Old, Polluting Infrastructure for the Clean Economy

    The Inflation Reduction Act is the largest investment in clean energy ever made by the federal government. Among the bill’s more than 700 pages is a lesser-known provision that could play a pivotal role in transforming existing dirty energy infrastructure to serve the clean energy economy of the future. 

    The new Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment Program — also known as the Section 1706 program — gives the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office $5 billion, with the authority to provide up to $250 billion in low-interest loans. These loans could radically change the energy landscape. The program could fund efforts to repurpose old coal and gas plant sites to deploy clean energy projects, leveraging existing infrastructure to save on costs while delivering economic benefits to communities. 

    Political Climate hosts Julia Pyper, Shane Skelton and Brandon Hurlbut are joined by two guests to discuss this new program: Alexander Bond, deputy general counsel for climate and clean energy at the Edison Electric Institute, and Uday Varadarajan, a principal at the clean-energy nonprofit RMI. They discuss the innovative structure of the Section 1706 program, challenges the Loan Programs Office will face as it rolls out the funding, and the opportunities for the program to help clean up the U.S. electric grid. 

    Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or pretty much wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.

    Recommended reading:Canary Media: How will DOE loan out $250B to make dirty energy systems clean?Canary Media: What challenges will confront DOE loan program for energy retrofits?RMI: The Most Important Clean Energy Policy You’ve Never Heard AboutDOE: Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment


    ***

    Political Climate is brought to you by MCE. Today, MCE offers nearly 40 Bay Area communities almost twice as much renewable energy as the state average. The power of MCE is about more than clean energy — it’s the power of people over profit. Learn more at mceCleanEnergy.org.

    Support for Political Climate also comes from Climate Positive, a podcast from Hannon Armstrong, the first U.S. public company solely dedicated to investing in climate solutions. The Climate Positive podcast features candid conversations with the leaders, innovators and changemakers driving our climate-positive future. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. 

    • 43 min
    What a Divided Government Means for Climate Policy

    What a Divided Government Means for Climate Policy

    The 2022 midterm elections are officially behind us. Democrats overcame historical trends to keep control of the Senate, while Republicans won a majority in the House by a surprisingly narrow margin.

    Ultimately, there was no red wave. There wasn’t really a “green wave” either. Democrats ushered through an ambitious legislative agenda, with President Biden signing historic bills to tackle climate change, build resilient infrastructure, and accelerate the deployment of American-made clean energy. Yet these issues got relatively little play this election cycle – for or against.

    Have we entered a new era for climate politics? Could there even be room for collaboration? Or will a divided government post-election give new life to old debates? 

    Political Climate hosts Julia Pyper, Shane Skelton and Brandon Hurlbut dig into the midterm results, discuss what they got right — and wrong — in their election predictions, and break down what it all means for the future of climate policy in America. 

    Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or pretty much wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.

    Recommended reading:Wesleyan Media Project: Advertising Issue SpotlightThe Atlantic: Wait, Why Wasn’t There a Climate Backlash?Canary Media: How Democratic state wins in the midterms could rev up climate progressWaPo: How different groups voted according to exit polls and AP VoteCast


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    Political Climate is brought to you by MCE. Today, MCE offers nearly 40 Bay Area communities almost twice as much renewable energy as the state average. The power of MCE is about more than clean energy — it’s the power of people over profit. Learn more at mceCleanEnergy.org.

    Support for Political Climate also comes from Climate Positive, a podcast from Hannon Armstrong, the first U.S. public company solely dedicated to investing in climate solutions. The Climate Positive podcast features candid conversations with the leaders, innovators and changemakers driving our climate-positive future. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. 

    • 30 min
    How Voting Rights and Redistricting Shape Climate Policy

    How Voting Rights and Redistricting Shape Climate Policy

    Many Americans are pessimistic about the U.S. election system. From skepticism around mail-in ballots and voting machines to coping with long lines and shuttered polling places, voter confidence has slumped. When it comes to climate, research shows 66% to 80% of people support major mitigation policies. But are election related barriers preventing these voter preferences from being captured at the ballot box?

    With the midterm elections less than a week away, we’re examining the fundamentals of the democratic process: the right to vote and public trust in elections. Plus, how the redistricting process influences both electoral outcomes and policymaking – including on climate and energy issues.

    Political Climate hosts Julia Pyper, Shane Skelton and Brandon Hurlbut are joined by USC Political Science and Public Policy Professor Christian Grose to discuss his research on how to improve voter access and voting rights and reduce polarization. Grose, who serves as academic director of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, also previews new polling on Proposition 30, an environmental related ballot measure in California. Finally, he explains why you should care about redistricting if you care about climate change.

    Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or pretty much wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.

    Recommended reading:Enhancing Democracy: Does Funding Elections and Opening Polling Places Cause Higher Voter Turnout?USC Schwarzenegger Institute Initiates Democracy Grants for Voting Access and Election AdministrationIndependent Redistricting Commissions Increase Voter Perceptions of Fairness***

    Political Climate is brought to you by MCE. Today, MCE offers nearly 40 Bay Area communities almost twice as much renewable energy as the state average. The power of MCE is about more than clean energy — it’s the power of people over profit. Learn more at mceCleanEnergy.org.

    Support for Political Climate also comes from Climate Positive, a podcast from Hannon Armstrong, the first U.S. public company solely dedicated to investing in climate solutions. The Climate Positive podcast features candid conversations with the leaders, innovators and changemakers driving our climate-positive future. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. 

    • 45 min
    Clean Energy Gatekeepers You’ve Never Heard Of

    Clean Energy Gatekeepers You’ve Never Heard Of

    Some of the most influential people in energy policy are almost completely unknown to the public.

    The transition to wind, solar, and other efficient technologies has the potential to make electricity more reliable and affordable for millions of Americans. But in many cases, this shift to clean energy must first be approved by gatekeepers you’ve never heard of.

    In this Political Climate episode, host Julia Pyper and producer Maria Virginia Olano are joined by Canary Media Senior Reporter Julian Spector to talk about public utility commissioners — who they are, why they are so important, and how you can engage with them to help shape your own energy future.

    Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or pretty much wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.

    Recommended reading:Canary Media: What are public utility commissions? A beginner’s guideVox: The overlooked elections this year with big climate stakesCanary Media: Who should pay to help coal communities in the energy transition?E&E News: 5 state-level races that could alter the energy transitionCanary Media: Hawaii surges toward clean energy


    ***

    Political Climate is brought to you by MCE. Today, MCE offers nearly 40 Bay Area communities almost twice as much renewable energy as the state average. The power of MCE is about more than clean energy — it’s the power of people over profit. Learn more at mceCleanEnergy.org.

    Support for Political Climate also comes from Climate Positive, a podcast from Hannon Armstrong, the first U.S. public company solely dedicated to investing in climate solutions. The Climate Positive podcast features candid conversations with the leaders, innovators and changemakers driving our climate-positive future. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. 

    • 35 min
    What's Shaping the 2022 Midterms?

    What's Shaping the 2022 Midterms?

    The midterm elections are less than a month away. Inflation, the economy, abortion access and election integrity are among voters’ top priorities this cycle, but how will they influence decisions on the ballot and, ultimately, the balance of power? And how will that outcome shape the future of climate and energy policy in the U.S.?

    Political Climate hosts Julia Pyper, Shane Skelton and Brandon Hurlbut are back on the podcast to discuss what’s at stake in the 2022 midterms, the latest polling results and wild cards that could drive voter turnout. Will the Inflation Reduction Act give Dems a lift?

    Plus, they discuss the failure of Senator Joe Manchin’s bill to reform permitting for energy infrastructure, and what that failure means for the buildout of both clean energy and fossil fuel pipelines. And the hosts talk about another big piece of climate news that received little coverage: the Senate’s ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in a rare bipartisan vote.  

    Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or pretty much wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.

    Recommended reading:Vox: The unlikely allies who sank Joe Manchin’s energy dealPolitical Climate: 'Need for Speed': Why Solving Climate Change Is About More Than CO2U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee: Menendez Makes Final Push for Senate Approval of Kigali Amendment to Montreal ProtocolReal Clear Politics: Latest polls


    ***

    Political Climate is brought to you by MCE. Today, MCE offers nearly 40 Bay Area communities almost twice as much renewable energy as the state average. The power of MCE is about more than clean energy — it’s the power of people over profit. Learn more at mceCleanEnergy.org.

    Support for Political Climate also comes from Climate Positive, a podcast from Hannon Armstrong, the first U.S. public company solely dedicated to investing in climate solutions. The Climate Positive podcast features candid conversations with the leaders, innovators and changemakers driving our climate-positive future. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
242 Ratings

242 Ratings

Charlie SC ,

Different perspective

For those following climate related developments in the US, this podcast offers a much needed perspective.

Gil Jenkins ,

Smart and joyful takes

Love the fun banter interspersed with thoughtful insights from this crew - their show really covers the waterfront for climate politics, tech innovation, and sustainable business trends. Really draws you in, and it’s paced well.

Hillela5 ,

A model for climate podcasts

Discussions are clear, informative, well prepared. Keep up the good work :-)

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