Two State Strategy for Environmental Success

Cross posted at Strategically Yours,

So I bought Jerome and Markos's new book, and I'm starting to delve through it.  As I make my way through I'm going to dissect certain points in it.  Very early on, they go into a significant diatribe against the enviro groups, and a lot of it is warranted.

When one talks about the advocacy organizations on our side, you only need to to think about one figure - $100 million.  The intake of the Sierra Club in 2004.  No other C3 on our side comes even close.  According to Crashing the Gate, the largest enviro groups took in approximately $415 million.  In one year.  And nothing to show for it.  CAFE stardards? nope.  Global Warming initiatives? ha.  Solar Energy?  Wind Energy? not even close. zip. zero. nada.

The green groups are sucking up progressive dollars, like giant Dyson vacuum.  And while I don't prescribe to the belief that there is a fixed number of progressive dollars in there, it does seem like there's a huge inefficiency going on here.  Lot's of money without much results.

So I decree that enviromental groups should no longer operate nationally.  In fact, the environmental groups should only be allowed to operate in 2 states - California and New York.  California has the largest economy in the country, and ranks somewhere between fourth and ninth in the world.  New York is either the second or third largest economy in the country (Texas may be bigger), and the eleventh largest economy in the world.  Together they're about equivalent of France and Italy's economies put together.  We're talking serious purchasing power here.  And we've all seen enough political maps to know how blue they are.

How does the Two State Strategy work?  In the perfect world, all the various environmental groups decide to focus the vast majority of their piggy banks to push green friendly laws that directly apply to businesses doing business in these two states.  We've already seen examples of this in California.  California significantly raised CAFE standards for all cars sold in the state.  The result?  Every major car manufacturer is now scrambling to meet these standards or risk being shut out of a population of 40 million.  When they do make these changes, they're not going to create a special line of cars that sell just to California - they're going to make the changes across their entire fleet, because economically it doesn't make sense for them to produce 2 different sets of cars.

So where else can we apply this lesson?  Target number one - energy companies.  Energy companies that don't comply to a certain set of standards would no longer be able to sell their units to the Dynamic Duo.  These standards could be anthing from an emission standard to a requirement on a company's energy portfolio that must diversify into renewables.  And these standards must hold across the country as a whole, not just their operations within the Dynamic Duo.  And the strategy doesn't end there - logging standards on lumber producers, clean up standards on mining companies, protecting the organic label, etc., etc.

Implementing the strategy is very simple.  The green groups use their serious money to install democratic governors, democratic legislatures, and democratic judiciary.  Then they start crafting legislation.  Once things start passing, the green groups protect these new laws from the inevitable corporate lawsuits with the best legal defense available.  And then they can work to bring other states into the fold.  All of a sudden, the southern strategy doesn't even matter.  All things are very doable with the amount of money in their coffers.  It's up to
them (and us to push them to do it).

Activist Alert:  Do you give money to one or more of the environmental groups?  Email them and ask them to follow through on the Two State Strategy.

Tags: CAFE, enviroment, Sierra Club (all tags)



Re: Two State Strategy for Environmental Success

I think this is an interesting debate to have, so I recommended the diary. But I did so on the assumption that the 2 state strategy only applied to national orgs (the Greater Yellowstone Coalition probably wouldn't have much to say about NY politics).

That said, this is the type of strategy that would never rise to the top from within national orgs, but should be considered.

Thanks for bringing the idea here, I imagine others will enjoy the discussion. Thanks.

by blogswarm 2006-03-02 09:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Two State Strategy for Environmental Success

Fittingly enough, the Sierra Club et. al. would have a better chance of making an impact on national policy this way because of the position of House Resources Committe Chairman Jerry Pombo.
Take out Pombo and all of a sudden, even if Republicans still manage to control the  House, environmentalists will get a much better hearing.

Take out Pombo (Ca-11)?  Just say no to Pombo.

by David Kowalski 2006-03-03 06:09AM | 0 recs


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