The Right’s Leadership on Climate Policy

68% of Americans believe that the United States needs to do more to protect our lakes, rivers, and streams. 67% believe that we need to do more to improve air quality and reduce the effects of global climate change. And among young conservatives, 78% believe that our focus moving forward should be expanding the usage of renewable energy sources. There is room for bipartisan progress on environmental protection.

Let’s start with the facts of the matter at-hand: no, the world will not end in 10 years if we don’t take drastic action. Yes, climate change is a global issue, and China and India must be in on any significant climate plan. Yes, conservation is a conservative issue.

The far left has proposed a slew of climate policies ranging from banning the extraction of clean natural gas, to outlawing carbon-free nuclear energy, to the “Green New Deal”. It isn’t my job to judge their intentions — I am certain a vast majority truly wish what is best for our climate and the American people — but I will analyze their proposals on their merit.

Clean, low-cost natural gas

At face value, a ban on fracking (the extraction of natural gas) seems to be a good idea. Natural gas produces carbon emissions and it seems to have some negative environmental impacts. But let’s dig deeper. The oil and natural gas industry directly support over 9.8 million jobs — about 5.6% of total U.S. employment. Additionally, a Reuters analysis indicates that cheap natural gas alone contributed about $2.08 trillion to U.S. manufacturing in 2013 alone.

most Americans rely on stoves powered by natural gas

And as with its environmental impact? Natural gas produces 50–60% less carbon emissions than traditional oil, and even those critical of its use acknowledge that properly constructed wells pose no threat to the water supply.

Carbon-free nuclear energy

The left’s obsession with opposing nuclear energy is based more on fear than fact. Nuclear generation produces no carbon emissions, has the lowest deaths per capita of any energy source besides biofuels, and has such stringent regulations that a full meltdown is nearly impossible. And no, a commercial nuclear power plant could not, even theoretically, be turned into a nuclear weapon.

The Green Trojan horse

Discussing his former boss’ radical “Green New Deal”, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ex-Chief of Staff admitted flatly that “it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all… we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” The original resolution, H.Res.109, reads more like a socialist socioeconomic upheaval than an environmental platform. Somehow mentioning wealth inequality, the gender wage gap, and racial earnings disparities before the national security impacts of climate change, the resolution is a garbled collection of social policies disguised as “climate action”.

courtesy of Time magazine

The Green Trojan horse also promises federally ensured economic security not only to those seeking work, but also for those “unwilling to work”. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, this agenda constitutes a wish-list created by Marxist activists, out-of-touch elitist politicians, and ideologues populating the faculty-boards of universities that just recently realized that selling degrees to the children of wealthy families was unjust.

The American people don’t need lectures on privilege from the most privileged members of our society.

Conservative leadership on climate

You’ll hardly hear about it in the mainstream media but Republicans across the nation have started taking substantive action on climate change. Nationally, this shift can be seen in the Senate Republicans’ establishment of the Teddy Roosevelt Caucus, dedicated to environmental protection and the preservation of our exceptional national heritage. This goes without mentioning House Republicans’ commitment to conservation, clean energy, and carbon-capture technology. They’ve recently laid out a plan (with a real focus on climate change) that puts forth results-based, realistic solutions.

On the statewide level, this obligation to conservation can be seen most clearly in the Grand Canyon State; governed by a Republican House, Senate, and Governorship.

Water conservation

courtesy of AZ Central

Spearheading drought-avoidance efforts, the State of Arizona recently ratified the Drought Contingency Plan, incorporating neighboring states like California and Nevada in a prolonged effort to navigate drought. Furthermore Governor Ducey signed Executive Order 2019–02 into law last year establishing the Governor’s Water Augmentation Council which concentrates on conservation, proper organization of water resources, and maintaining sustainable water supplies.

Rejecting climate denialism

Republican leaders in the Grand Canyon State, led by Governor Ducey, are refreshingly prescient about the risks that human-caused climate change poses. Ducey said “[t]he skepticism isn’t so much around the causes… it’s around suggested remedies”. He’s absolutely correct.

Fostering innovation

Emphasizing the importance of market-based solutions, conservative leaders in every corner of the Saguaro State have unleashed the power of industry and market forces to address environmental degradation. A hub for start-ups and jobs, Arizona is experiencing a population and economic boom. The friendly pro-business environment has attracted companies such as Nikola Motor Co., a producer of zero-emission electric commercial trucks. Arizona’s largest public utility, Arizona Public Service (APS), just rolled out their plan to be carbon neutral by 2050. This comes all without costly bureaucratic regulatory regimes.

Free market policies are showing themselves to be the cornerstone of substantive environmental reforms. As the far left proposes utopian wish-lists, Republicans are rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done.