Republicans review ‘eco-rational’ approach to climate policy if they take control of the House

House Republicans have reviewed how their party will deal with climate and energy policy if they win a majority in the House of Representatives at an event in UN Climate Summit Known as COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, this week.

The GOP delegation to COP27 included members of the Conservative Climate Caucus who sit on critical House committees dealing with issues related to regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy policy.

Rep. Garrett Graves of Louisiana, the ranking member of the House Select Committee on Climate, and the other Republicans at the top said the United States should not demonize fossil fuels like natural gas and that these fuels could remain part of the energy transition. to a cleaner energy system.

“The goal here that we’re trying to attack is that emissions are not the source of energy, and I think our research and development needs to focus on the kinds of energy resources that every country has and in the United States one of those is oil and gas, 30 times the energy density of the nearest renewable.”

He added: “So one of the things we have to do is not attack oil and gas but attack the emissions associated with it where it is indistinguishable from other renewable energy technologies to where it could be an arrow as we try to address our energy goals, affordability Costs, reliability, cleanliness, exportability, and supply chain security.”

In this June 23, 2021 file photo, Representative John Curtis, State of Utah, speaks during the press conference to introduce the Republican Climate Caucus outside the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Cole, Inc. via Getty Images, FILE

Greaves also said the country needs to invest more in helping communities in areas vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as near coasts, to adapt or become more resilient to the effects of climate change because the cost of recovering after severe storms is also increasing. high.

“It’s about making investments in communities that have vulnerabilities, making sure that those communities are resilient enough to withstand these storms and these disaster events that ensure that we don’t keep coming to put the pieces back together, we keep coming in and spending these billions of dollars.”

The delegation emphasized that their rally represents Republicans who care about protecting the planet and do not doubt that climate change is a problem that needs to be addressed, but disagree with what they called “radical ecology” that the world will end if we do not immediately shut down all fossil fuels and that wind and solar power They are the only two solutions.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, said referring to the rhetoric that the world is burning attributing all extreme weather events to climate change.

“There is a cost. There are problems that we have to deal with and we have an interest in mitigating them,” Crenshaw said. “There are conservation efforts that we have an interest in perpetuating. Sure. But let’s not lie to our children and scare them to death and tell them that they are going to burn alive because of this, because that’s not what it says. It’s not what the UN report says.”

Crenshaw urged “rational environmental protection,” where both sides can agree on the need for clean air, clean water, better conservation and cleaner energy.

Crenshaw said Europe’s energy crisis has been exacerbated by countries’ efforts to transition to renewable energy too quickly, calling it a misleading “apotheosis” of wind and solar power as the only potentially counterproductive long-term solution.

“It is better not to incur a higher cost for our solutions than the problem itself. It is better to have rational environmental protection than to protect the extreme environment, the extreme environment will push us down the path of poverty and despair,” he said.

Crenshaw said the United States should allow the oil and gas industry to expand so the country can export more natural gas to replace coal-fired power plants overseas, which he said would eventually reduce global emissions. Speakers also said the country should also invest in more technologies such as nuclear power that can be used in the US and exported to developing countries to help them grow their economies without increasing the use of fuels such as coal.

The United Nations Climate Science Panel has said the world needs it Stop investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure As soon as possible to achieve emission reduction targets to limit warming to 1.5°C, most new fossil fuel infrastructure will end up being replaced by cleaner energy sources.

Photo: President Joe Biden delivers a speech during the COP27 climate conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt on November 11, 2022.

President Joe Biden delivers a speech during the COP27 climate conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, November 11, 2022.

Ahmed Al-Gharabali/AFP via Getty Images

Representative John Curtis, R-Utah, said there is a strong interest among Republicans to protect the earth and the environment, pointing to voters in his state from places like Carbon County, Utah, who resent anti-fossil fuel rhetoric and want to be. Part of the solution by focusing on more critical minerals for clean energy technologies. But he said these projects are difficult because much of his state is federal territory where mining projects are not allowed or face stricter requirements.

Curtis said the caucus goal will be to educate more Republicans about what climate action will look like under Republican values ​​and that there is room for bipartisan climate policy.

“Without Republicans engaging in this debate, we will not make the progress we need as a nation, and any significant achievement in the United States has been bipartisan,” Curtis said. “The ideas not only that, but the ideas that Republicans are bringing to the table are essential to achieving the goals we all have for a better environment,” he said.

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