BY ANDREW FREEDMAN In the wake of Tuesday's elections, there appears to be two ways of thinking about the repercussions for climate policy. One school of thought holds that this is essentially doomsday, with U.S. President Barack Obama's administration facing the potential gutting of its environmental programs — including the Environmental Protection Agency's carbon emissions regulations — by a Republican-dominated Congress. The other view holds that this election was not in any way a referendum on how voters view climate change. In fact, the race revealed indications that it is increasingly untenable to be a candidate for major office while holding the view that manmade climate change does not exist. I think the second view is closer to reality, and here are five reasons why: 1. Big Green forced some Republican candidates to tack left on climate. The Colorado Senate race is an excellent example of a race where big environmental donors, including billionaire Tom Steyer's NextGen Climate Action super PAC, spent big on holding on to Democratic Sen. Mark Udall's seat. Udall has a solid voting record in favor of clean energy, and has long spoken out about the dangers of global warming. But Republican Cory Gardner blurred the differences between him and Udall by advertising his support for natural gas and wind power. This move was one of many made by Gardner that showed his adroitness as a candidate, and it wouldn't have been necessary if it were not for the spending by Green groups. So, even though Steyer's organization spent big for Udall (to the tune of at least $7.4 million) and lost, there is a silver lining in that Gardner is now on the record as holding less extreme energy views than when he entered the race as a House member. In other races, Republican candidates were forced to resort to the ridiculous "I'm not a scientist" line when asked about their views on global warming. A few years ago, most candidates simply were not asked about their views on this subject. So that's slight progress right there. See more points via Mashable.
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