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  • Sarah Chamberlain

Republicans need to stop letting Democrats drive the climate narrative

By Sarah Chamberlain Republicans have, for too long, allowed Democrats to claim that THEY are the true protectors of the environment and climate change. It’s just not the case.

Sarah Chamberlain, RMSP CEO

We are not climate deniers, and we are tired of the misleading messaging perpetuated by proponents of the Green New Deal who claim that their plan will help avoid global destruction through the offer of a non-binding proposal to wean the United States from fossil fuels and curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions across the economy while guaranteeing new high-paying jobs in clean energy industries. But there’s no legislation attached that would actually achieve the goal.

Republicans believe that jobs, prosperity, and a cleaner environment can peacefully coexist.

Private-sector innovation, American resources, and R&D investment have resulted in lower emissions and affordable energy, which makes the United States the global leader in reducing emissions. Has it happened as quickly as anyone would like? Probably not, but we also should not embrace the Democrats’ view that we should be reducing energy choices.

We should be setting a goal of reducing emissions. With innovative technologies, fossil fuels can and should be a major part of the global solution.

We can reduce carbon in the air without villainizing American fossil fuels that have helped America reduce emissions dramatically over the last decade and employ more than 1.7 million Americans. All emissions reducing technologies and energy sources should be on the table, including carbon capture, tree planting, nuclear energy, renewable sources, and fossil fuels.

Republican-only climate causus
Rep. John Curtis introduces the caucus

House Republicans led by Rep. John Curtis of Utah recently launched the Conservative Climate Caucus, with more than 60 GOP members representing every committee with jurisdiction over climate policy. Our goal is to educate fellow Republicans on climate policies that will make real progress on reducing emissions through American innovation and resources…without sacrificing American jobs, prosperity, and principles. The GOP has been accused by many of being the “Party of No” when it comes to climate solutions. The truth is that we are saying no to the proposals that sound good, but in reality will have no real effect on global emissions and kill American jobs. Republicans are the “Party of Yes” for solutions that balance emissions reduction with energy needs and grows, instead of hinders, the U.S. economy.” We need the electorate to know that we’re open to talking about carbon capture, tree planting, and expansion of nuclear energy, which many of us prefer over wind or solar energy. Many of us do feel that President Biden’s proposals around items like a clean electricity standard sound nice but they won’t have a measurable impact on the problem. Our ability to take back control of the House and Senate in 2022 requires a credible position on climate change. We can’t avoid this discussion, which the previous administration would have preferred we do. We also need to provide a more reasonable voice to members of our own party who want to claim that there is no climate crisis. That’s not a winning argument if we want to attract younger voters to the party before the 2022 midterms. We don’t need to kill the U.S. economy to reach our climate goals, but we do need to step away from the shaming culture found in today’s climate dialogue and celebrate our successes. We don’t need to implement Democrat policies that ban fossil fuels, raise taxes on energy consumers, and force taxpayers to heavily subsidize politically preferred industries, but we do need conservative policies that secure American energy innovation, foster innovation, and allow the market to protect taxpayers from tax increases. This is a topic where governing needs to take precedence over the rhetoric. We need to ask the louder voices on the Left what they’re actually doing to drive change beyond talking about it. The Conservative Climate Caucus is not going to endorse legislation or specific policies, but we will serve as a place for Republicans to learn and talk about solutions that tackle climate change while keeping conservative principles. We hope that through these efforts we will also make it easier for the media to take a more balanced approach to its coverage of this critical issue and hear voices beyond the chest pounding that the Far Left has been allowed to do on this topic. Sarah Chamberlain is president and CEO of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which promotes bipartisan consensus-building on public policy issues. More than 30 RMSP members have joined the Conservative Climate Caucus, including: (with links to their websites):


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