The current administration has frozen climate action at the federal level. How can climate and energy politics get through this impasse and toward the acceleration of decarbonization? Two broad camps have emerged, particularly among young advocates: activists and pragmatists. Climate activism focuses on movements like divestment, #ExxonKnew, and the People’s Climate Marches. Climate pragmatism focuses on decarbonization outside of federal mandates, such as state and local efforts, innovation, and clean energy deployment. This panel asks: is the failure to act on climate change a political or economic problem? “Both” isn’t an answer. If climate activists got the political support they wanted, could they achieve deep decarbonization with the current technologies? On the other hand, if the pace of clean energy innovation accelerated with sustained federal opposition to climate action, could the pragmatic plan achieve deep decarbonization?