Ideological battles playing out in communities across the U.S. have perpetuated a “win at all costs” approach to climate change mitigation, effectively reducing the vast complexity of energy systems and solutions to those that are “good” or “bad.” This profoundly counterproductive over-simplification works well in political campaigns and media headlines, but fails to support meaningful policy change in our communities. As a result, entire sectors and industries – some at the forefront of decarbonization technology and research – have been left out of the legislative process; our leaders have been forced to craft policy without the full spectrum of mitigation options; and the public must continue to rely solely on campaign messaging, rather than data and science, when considering our climate crisis.