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Rep. Victoria Spartz Warns of Economic and Environmental Damage From Socialism

American and European consumers have experienced high energy costs and steep inflation in the past two years. A key reason is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which disrupted supplies and global markets. In addition to impacting citizens in the U.S., the war has also caused an estimated 500,000 casualties and injuries on both sides. As the lone member of Congress who was born in the Soviet Union, Ukraine specifically, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) has a unique view of the Ukraine war and how it is shaping politics and policy in the U.S. 

Spartz recently joined John Hart on Right Voices to discuss this and free-market energy and environmental solutions. 

Spartz has not traditionally specialized in issues of energy and climate, although she represents an ag-heavy district. As such, her constituents face the real-world impacts of high energy prices, which translates to more expensive fuel and fertilizer. During a recent listening tour of her district, Indiana’s farmers emphasized that inflation, poor energy policies, and high input costs were their primary concerns. 

>>>READ: Rep. Bob Latta Discusses Energy Affordability and Innovation

These concerns reflect national attitudes. Recent polling from Gallup found that 41% of Americans say that inflation is their number one issue, a jump of 6% from 2023. Energy, meanwhile, constituted only 6% of this share.  

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Rep. Spartz believes that conservatives should be more engaged in the issue, saying, “Republicans need to do a better job at communicating our energy policy because right now we are allowing energy politics to win and that is terrible.” 

When asked what a specific policy platform would look like, Spartz emphasized the importance of innovation and an “all of the above” approach. 

“It’s common sense to have innovative technology. We want to make sure that we have good opportunities for nuclear energy. You probably can have good solar production in Arizona, maybe wind production in Iowa. We need to look at how we can have policy and better transmission lines and make sure that we don’t subsidize bad behaviors, but allow innovation to thrive.”

>>>READ: Jeff Duncan Outlines Policies to Unleash American Nuclear Power

Rep. Spartz also warned of the perils of socialism. She had to endure it for the first 16 years of her life in the Soviet Union and is concerned it is becoming popular among America’s youth

“I can tell you what is going to be next and it’s not going to be pretty and I don’t think most Americans realize that. Unfortunately, this idea sells. This idea has been sold to many people and it’s sometimes too late [to stop]…I grew up under socialism, I’ve seen what happens when the system fails because it’s only a matter of time. Socialism, it’s a very oppressive system, it always has political elites on top, and then everyone else is equally poor.”

As big government solutions become more popular, principled leaders who support bottom-up innovation, like Rep. Spartz, will be increasingly important to address energy and environmental challenges.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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