Conservatives in Congress are gaining sway in the climate debate through their climate, energy, and conservation task force. The GOP climate plan is the culmination of years of hard work from policymakers who believe that limited government can lead to limited emissions. Rep. John Curtis, who chairs the Conservative Climate Caucus and who has been leading in this space, is playing a major role in unveiling the task force’s policies.
Rep. Curtis recently sat down with John Hart on Right Voices.
The initial rollout of the Republican climate plan made headlines. Rep. Curtis chuckled about this saying, “Listen any time Republicans are talking about climate, it’s big news. I think maybe we should aspire to the point where it’s not big news and where it’s just expected every day.”
He then added:
“Right now it’s no secret that we haven’t engaged at the level that we really need to engage with on this. I think as a result, you’re seeing some of the impacts of that in higher prices and scarcity and unreliability, and Republicans stepping up to talk about this I think comes just in the nick of time.”
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The specifics of the task force’s plan will be rolled out throughout the summer, but they will focus on six key pillars that boost energy security and economic output, all while lowering emissions domestically and abroad.
“I think what’s impactful about this is that it is a recipe for independence from our enemies on fuel, to affordable prices, to a strong U.S. economy, and reduced emissions,” said Curtis. “Before we looked at [climate] as a paradigm that somehow you had to sacrifice national security or prices in order to have reduced emissions. The Republican plan clearly points out that we can have everything here and we can reduce emissions.”
Progressives in Congress have thus far been skeptical of the GOP’s climate and energy plan. Rather than looking to work with conservatives, many progressives have remained steadfast in their support of the Green New Deal. Curtis says:
“Their goal is not to reduce carbon emissions, it’s a social agenda. I think Republicans want to turn the dialogue to not only reducing greenhouse gas emissions but reducing worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. We have to be taking action that impacts worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. And that’s where, if people are serious about climate change, they’ll love our plan and love our engagement. If they’re serious about a social agenda, they’ll make fun of us and demean our plan because it doesn’t lead to their social agenda.”
That’s not to say that the conservative plan has not received any attention from policy leaders on the left. Recently, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and the Conservative Climate Caucus have begun to collaborate on permitting reform, according to Congressman Curtis.
This summer we can expect the GOP climate, energy, and conservation task force to lay out comprehensive policies that the party will move to implement if it retakes the House in November. The conservative climate movement, being led by members such as Rep. Curtis, is offering pragmatic solutions to our greatest energy and climate challenges.