Gerrymandering, the process of drawing legislative districts for political gain, has major implications for efforts to combat the climate crisis and transition the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels, Yale Climate Connections reports. The practice has long been used at the congressional, state legislative, and even city council level by white officials to minimize the political power of voters of color. In Ohio, Republicans approved a map this week that will “crack” Black Democratic voters in Hamilton County (Cincinnati) into three congressional districts where their votes will be offset by white rural voters.
Gerrymandering at the state legislative level there enabled Republicans in 2019 to disregard public support for clean energy and pass bailouts for coal plants in the now-infamous House Bill 6 that led to federal bribery and corruption charges. In Texas, where most residents support strong climate action, the legislature has done virtually nothing to address climate change because its state legislative maps carve up and dilute liberal voters by combining them with rural and conservative voters. (Yale Climate Connections; New Ohio map: Washington Post $)
This article has been corrected to accurately reflect the year the Ohio legislature passed House Bill 6.