By Jeff Luse
The issue of climate change, which was once dominated by the Left, has found a conservative champion in Utah Republican John Curtis. Curtis, who first assumed office in 2017, represents the youngest district in the nation—with the average citizen being 26. Since his election, Curtis has introduced a number of energy and climate related bills that protect our natural resources and promote low carbon energy.
While Curtis’ efforts have shown that Republicans care about the climate, he recognizes that the GOP has to do better job at articulating solutions. Speaking on Facebook Live, Curtis said, “One of my biggest regrets is that conservatives are branded as not caring about the plant which is not true at all, we’ve just done a terrible job of talking about it and positioning ourselves.”
Curtis continued by saying, “One of my missions is to let it be known that conservatives do care and that we have great ideas—ideas that would help in a dramatic fashion to improve our environment and take care of the environment in a better way.”
In terms of climate solutions, Rep. Curtis believes that issue can often become overly complicated when some of the necessary technology already exists.
“If the goal is to reduce carbon in the air, we have something right in front of us [nuclear energy] that will dramatically change that equation.”
Even though it is safe, reliable, and our largest source of clean energy, nuclear has historically been met with opposition by the Left and environmental groups which has resulted in many nuclear plants across the nation closing.
When asked about his thoughts on the Biden administration’s efforts to address climate change, Curtis showed concern. “I wish that President Biden would slow down long enough to bring Republicans with him. The problem with executive orders is that you don’t even give Republicans a chance to step up to the table and be a part of a solution.”
Instead of relying on executive orders that can change administration to administration, Curtis views bipartisan consensus in Congress as a better method to drive climate policy. Despite disagreements, Rep. Curtis still remains optimistic that both sides can work together.
“What we need is thoughtful people on both the right and the left to come together and find solutions that we can agree on that meet the end goal [of reducing pollutants in the air].”
Coming together to solve the issue of climate change will not only produce lasting solutions, but it will also make better stewards of citizens.
“I regret that we have what I call a culture of shaming which is you can never be good enough, you can never do enough. I’d love to turn that to a culture of rewarding and rewarding people for even small things that they do so that they become addicted to being better stewards.”
In space as important as climate policy, Rep. Curtis has shown that conservative leadership is possible. His passion and dedication to the topic has encouraged conservatives to step up and offer solutions.