With his decision late last week, to weaken regulation of methane emissions, President Trump has extended his efforts to reverse the environmental policies of the Obama (and earlier) Administrations.

These reversals provoke considerable concern about the implications for climate change. They also reflect a serious defect in our winner-take-all system of government. When one party seizes control of the executive power, it can drive policies in one direction. And when the other party regains power, it can reverse course and take policy in the other direction. This high volatility in policy serves the country and the world poorly.


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After reading the Declaration of Independence, it is easy to wonder why the Founding Fathers gave us an imperial presidency. The Declara­tion documents no fewer than twenty-seven grievances about King George III’s abuse of power. But the Constitution was written more than a decade later after an unhappy experience with state constitutions that had severely restricted executive authority and greatly expanded legisla­tive authority.
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