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In 2019, renewable power was having a moment — but not where you’d expect. Arkansas, South Carolina, and Utah, among the reddest of red states, passed landmark legislation paving the way for expanding solar and wind power.

The bills these states enacted were all sponsored by Republicans, passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures, and approved by Republican governors. They were also bipartisan bills, getting support from Democrats, too.

Many Republican legislators still deny the scientific consensus around climate change and oppose policies to address the problem outright. But a recent study found that these red-state successes weren’t a fluke. The analysis, recently published in the journal Climatic Change, shows that states approved roughly 400 bills to reduce carbon emissions from 2015 to 2020. More than a quarter — 28 percent — passed through Republican-controlled legislatures. 

“Even though some of these policies in red states might not be as ambitious as blue states, I just want people to know that things are happening,” said Renae Marshall, a co-author of the study and a doctoral student at the University of California, Santa Ba... Read more

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