A Note From Sen. Kevin Ranker


Let me be perfectly clear, I firmly believe that the environment will be disproportionately under attack during the next two years. While I am sure this is no news to you, I want to point out a few reasons why I think it could be worse than we imagine, and what we must do about it.

1. As you have (I am sure) read elsewhere, and as I described in my piece “Thoughts,” Trump won this election for a number of reasons, but one significant reason was the economy. While urban areas are seeing significant increases in job creation, many rural areas are still experiencing the recession. Worse, many of the jobs in these areas are not coming back. While employment numbers are up, even in some rural areas, many are still underemployed. Many rural Americans went from working at a coal mine or steel plant for $100k with full benefits to working at Walmart. And in fact, national median household income is actually below what it was in 2007.

Further, as Hedrick Smith discussed in his blog “The 2016 Election – an MRI on America,” one significant problem is “inequality in destiny.” In other words, people believe their destiny – their dream of what life should be for themselves and their children – has been shattered. They believe that only the wealthy have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. These people, these “depressed voters” spoke very loudly in this election, many by voting for Trump, and many by simply not voting. Continue reading