• Ben Finzel

Fearless Fridays Predictions – Volume 2


Hello and welcome back to our Fearless Fridays predictions. Before we offer a new prediction, let’s check in on Volume 1 from August. We predicted:

Prediction 1:

  • We’ll see enactment of some form of carbon capture and storage policy by the end of 2017. [Full disclosure: We have a client in this space. This prediction is not based on any “insider” or other knowledge, but is simply a reflection of our insight from following this issue.]

Prediction 2:

  • We’ll see a renewed interest in funding/support for National Parks this fall in the wake of the Interior Department study on changes to some units within the system. This could include one or more announcements of new initiatives by advocacy groups and/or companies to focus attention on the underfunded but wildly popular National Park System.

Prediction 3:

  • We’ll see a five to ten percent increase in the percentage of Americans who believe climate change is real in public opinion surveys this fall. This change will be due in part to extreme weather events such as Hurricane Harvey (which is headed towards Texas today) as well as growing corporate support for specific actions to address climate change and its impacts.

So, how’d we do?

  • Prediction 1: Incomplete. Carbon capture legislation has been introduced in both houses (three different bills, actually) and is being discussed as part of the emerging tax policy debate. Watch this space.

  • Prediction 2: Incomplete. The Trump administration has proposed dramatically raising the entrance fees for many of the most popular parks to raise some additional funds (but not enough, as the Washington Post pointed out in a news story last week). We’ll see if this action leads to efforts focused on my specific prediction about initiatives from park advocates.

  • Prediction 3: Ding, ding, ding – we have a winner! A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted in mid-September and reported in a September 28 story included this conclusion: “A majority of Americans say that global climate change contributed to the severity of recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. That marks a significant shift of opinion from a dozen years ago, when a majority of the public dismissed the role of global warming and said such severe weather events just happen from time to time.”

And here's a new prediction:

Prediction 4:

  • President Trump will "split the difference" on imposing solar tariffs in the pending Solarworld/Suniva solar trade case by imposing a smaller-than-requested tariff that allows him to try to please both sides. In this way, he'll be able to claim that he's going after China and supporting the plaintiffs by imposing tariffs as well as claiming that he heard the concerns of the majority of the U.S. solar industry who opposed any tariff and imposed a much smaller penalty than he could have required.

Watch this space for updates. We’ll follow-up with another check-in in the months ahead. And don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages or by tweeting at us @RENEWPRAgency.



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