The U.S. has unofficially entered the fall season, leaving behind a summer that saw record heat waves, devastating wildfires, and other extreme weather. These events have pushed the topic of climate change to the forefront of public discussion, even making it to the first Republican presidential debate in August. While some Americans were surprised to see Republican presidential hopefuls talk about climate, several conservative members of Congress are offering pragmatic, free market solutions to the issue, and have been for several years. One is Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT), who recently joined Right Voices.
Moore previously joined Right Voices in 2021 during his first term in Congress, which yielded several policy wins for the Utah congressman. During the 117th Congress, four of Moore’s bills reached President Biden’s desk for signature, including the Senate version of his Saline Lake Ecosystems in the Great Basin Act. This bill directed the U.S. Geological Survey to identify ways to conserve and save water at saline lakes, such as the Great Salt Lake, which are abundant in the Western United States. These bodies of water provide critical habitats for migratory birds and regulate local ecosystems, but have been adversely affected by droughts and extreme heat.
The extreme heat in the U.S. has led climate activists to pressure President Biden to declare a climate emergency, which the President has wisely avoided. As Moore said during the interview, “I think if you declare a climate emergency, that’s only a mechanism to force more myopic policy that only thinks about virtue signaling over sustainable, reliable production going forward.” He continued, “Declaring a climate emergency will not drive the most innovative and thoughtful direction on how to deal with this…we need a comprehensive approach that considers all angles.”
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To the Congressman, a comprehensive approach includes prioritizing American energy production to increase our share of baseload power, which Moore said was essential to maintaining national security. In addition to carbon-free nuclear power, the U.S. should also continue oil and gas development. While this may seem counterintuitive, American oil and gas is produced with significantly fewer carbon emissions than oil and gas from overseas. Stopping energy development in the U.S. will not curb global demand and would only shift production to countries with fewer environmental standards.
Before offering these solutions, however, more Republicans have to admit that climate change is occurring. As Moore stated:
“If we cede this entire debate to the Democrat and liberal side of the aisle, then A, we don’t have a say in any of these matters and B, we lose credibility to do what the American people need us to do and that is create sound energy policy, an all of the above approach that will actually reduce emissions.”
On this topic, Congressman Moore was happy to see some of the GOP presidential candidates talking about climate change in the debate. He specifically commended Nikki Haley for saying that climate change is real, before offering her pragmatic solutions to confront the issue.
As the climate discussion continues to be incorporated into the public policy debate, conservative leaders like Rep. Blake Moore are offering durable, bipartisan solutions that can reduce emissions and advance economic freedom.