September 1, 2014

Growing a Greener GOP From the Ground Up

The Climate for Presidential Leadership

Senator John McCain

Today, President Obama unveils his strategy to curb and deal with the impacts of climate change. As conservatives, we heartily agree with this phrase from the opening statement of the plan:

“….we have a moral obligation to future generations…”

Because Congress has failed to act—under both Democrat and Republican leadership—the President is left with limited administrative tools to tackle this enormous problem. That means a heavy handed centralized command and control regulatory environment, and a best-effort to convince countries with huge carbon appetites to play along.

ConservAmerica has not endorsed one specific solution to climate change. We believe solutions that leverage the free market and reach beyond our own borders have the best chance of success. We believe America can tackle this enormous problem through its unique and entrepreneurial knack for innovation and technological advancement.

The president’s plan acknowledges that we cannot unilaterally force China or India to dramatically reduce their carbon emissions. Only Congress enacting a carbon tax at our borders could ‘level’ the playing field for the U.S. economy. But, the president does highlight three ideas ConservAmerica strongly supports:

1) Natural gas is a critical bridge fuel and our innovations in that field are ripe for export to other nations. This focus can cut carbon emissions by fifty percent (compared to coal) and strengthen our own economy.

2) A resurgence in the U.S. nuclear power industry can provide dependable base loads of energy here, and can spur thousands of new jobs as we export our research and development to other nations.

3) Coal will be an important source of power for much of the world for decades to come. It is incumbent upon us—both for moral and economic reasons—to help other nations to burn coal cleaner.

These ideas, or areas of emphasis, would sound perfectly normal coming from the lips of any Republican.

President Obama sets June 2015 as the deadline for the Administration to finalize rules and regulations under this plan. Our fellow Republicans can play rope-a-dope, like we did while the Administration cobbled together the Affordable Healthcare Act, or we can take an active leadership role to formulate the best possible policies to protect our way of life. In this, let’s follow the lead of Senator John McCain:

“We have many advantages in the fight against global warming, but time is not of them. Instead of idly debating the precise extent of global warming, or the precise timeline of global warming, we need to deal with the central facts of rising temperatures, rising waters, and all the endless troubles that global warming will bring. We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great. The most relevant question now is whether our government is equal to the challenge.”

At ConservAmerica, we believe Republicans and conservatives can and should lead our nation in this challenge.

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  1. Gary Latshaw says:

    We don’t need any more natural gas, nuclear power, or coal plants. These will not help address climate change. The extraction, delivery, and combustion of natural gas with current technology results in 1-2% leakage. Since one methane molecule, which is the chemical name for natural gas, has a greenhouse warming effect more than 100 times that of CO2, the burning of natural gas instead of gasoline or coal is offset by this leakage. Nuclear Power plants require enormous amount of CO2 emissions in the production of the cement plus additional energy requirements in the delivery process. Add all these up and it takes decades for a nuclear plant to become beneficial in terms of CO2 emissions/energy delivered. Coal has long been identified as the worst emitter of CO2.
    If you want to attract a wider audience to the Republican party, then stop reading comic books and read some serious science.

  2. Dave Keith says:

    Pennsylvania is experiencing a natural gas rush, as you are likely well aware of. It would be nice to see some portion of the impact fees laid out in Act 13, or some sort of new extraction (severance) tax revenue, channeled towards renewables or energy efficiency initiatives in PA. As T. Boone Pickens has said, natural gas should be a bridge fuel. Why have we not seen this become a reality in gas rich states? I can imagine gas revenues supporting solar incentives for homes and businesses, or funding a program that incentivizes heat pump or geothermal installation, for example.

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