Basis for Performance Grade
Republican leadership in the states were large cowed by Trump into willfully denying or ignoring climate change as an issue. While some adopted more ambitious clean energy goals because of legislation passed in those state, most preferred to simply side-step the issue, much like the way they opted to avoid taking pro-active steps to protect their citizens from Covid-19, largely because of the degree to which Trump managed to politicize the issue. While no Republican leaders stepped up to show climate leadership or affirm that their support of climate action, Republican Governor as a whole lent their support for the struggling nuclear power plants in their states. Ironically, Governor Cuomo, a Democrat, acts more like a Republican when dealing with upstate New York politics, where the majority of New York’s Republicans are. There, he bent over backwards to help save three nuclear power plants, which were beloved employers in the upstate region but at risk of closure because of cheap natural gas prices, so he provided them with a Zero Emission Credit that would help them whenever the price of gas fell below a certain level. Despite that, he served his natural gas and progressive donors in the downstate area by refusing to allow the ZECs to apply to Indian Point, forcing its early closure.