Republicans Leading With Real Climate Solutions
Stop us if you’ve heard this attack before — “Republicans don’t care about climate change.” Well, that’s just not true.
That’s a stale argument intended to be decisive, and it’s also not the reality. In fact, many leading Republican policymakers, as well as GOP presidential candidates, often point to clean energy solutions as part of their agenda.
In the first 2024 GOP Presidential debate, several candidates outlined their ideas and thoughts on how the world can achieve global emissions reductions:
“Yes, is climate change real? Yes, it is. But if you want to go and really change the environment, then we need to start telling China and India that they have to lower their emissions. That’s where our problem is. And these green subsidies that Biden has put in, all he’s done is help China because he doesn’t understand all these electric vehicles that he’s done, what that does that, half of the batteries for electric vehicles are made in China. And so, that’s not helping the environment. You’re putting money in China’s pocket.”
– Fmr. Governor and Ambassador Nikki Haley
“If we want the environment to be better and we all do, the best thing to do is to bring our jobs home from China. If we create 10 million new jobs in my Made in America Plan, we will have a better economy and a better environment. America has cut our carbon footprint in half in the last 25 years. The places where they are continuing to increase — Africa, 950 million people; India, over a billion; China, over a billion. Why do we put ourselves at a disadvantage, devastating our own economy? Let’s bring our jobs home.”
– Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
They are right, global emissions can not be tackled only by mandating or taxing away emissions in the U.S. We need free-market solutions that allow energy producers to build more projects. By over regulating American innovators and making it harder to produce domestic energy, places like China and Russia will continue to step in to meet global energy demand.
A great example of this is liquified natural gas (LNG). Global LNG demand is expected to increase and the U.S. makes LNG cleaner. By producing LNG here in the U.S, versus in Russia, in 2023 alone, we are estimated to avoid 27 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. The U.S. cannot allow countries like China and Russia dominate the energy and industrial markets, because it will lead to continued higher emissions.
Another example is critical minerals. In the global race to a new energy economy, we shouldn’t depend on other countries for critical materials when we have abundant resources here at home. Lithium demand, for example, is expected to grow by 42 times today’s consumption. Regardless of where the minerals are mined, China exerts dominant control over the refining process for each of these critical minerals.
By leading through markets over mandates, and innovation over regulation, Republicans know that we can achieve energy independence while also seeing massive climate benefits.
“Free-market innovation – not government regulation or taxation – is the best way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”
– Sen. John Barrasso
“The progress that we have made in a cleaner environment has been happening precisely because we have a strong free market economy. You know what’s remarkable, is the United States has reduced CO2 more than the countries that are still in the Paris climate accord, but we’ve done it through innovation”
– Former VP Mike Pence
“The United States led the world in lowering emissions while lowering energy costs for American households. We accomplished this by utilizing American resources made cheaper by innovation. Instead of punishing Americans with high prices, reducing consumer choice, or making it harder for Americans to innovate, we should be exporting this model of success to the rest of the world.”
– Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy
“America has led the world in reducing carbon emissions through innovation and entrepreneurship. As a result, people across the country continue to have access to clean, affordable, reliable energy.” – Energy & Commerce Committee Chair, Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Despite what the media has often reported, Republicans acknowledge that climate change is real and that we need real, proven American innovations and solutions to address it. The U.S. has the brightest minds, the best scientists, most determined workers in the world.
“In the past I’ve always said that climate change is real and it’s impacting our state….. There’s undeniable data that CO2 levels and other greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere are increasing….. We have an obligation to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions…. We’re not going to do it by participating in gimmicky programs that haven’t worked. And, you know, in the end, our view is it’s better to do things the right way than to do things the politically correct way.”
– Fmr. Governor Chris Christie
“Innovation is the only way to solve climate change…. future innovation should be kickstarted, not shut down, unleashing innovation is the conservative solution …we want whatever will make the most progress at the fastest pace, we want action, not activism…. (Climate Change) Is a big problem, no question. But the solutions are all around us.”
– Fmr. Governor and Ambassador Nikki Haley
Clean energy technologies that are part of the global solution already exist, and it’s often conservatives who are the among the biggest champions.
“Today, we’re on our way toward achieving carbon neutrality as a state by 2030, thanks to our extraordinary capacity to safely store over 252 billion tons of CO2, or 50 years of the nation’s CO2 output. We have opportunities to create markets for our CO2 right here in our state.”
– Governor Doug Burgum
“I am unapologetically pro nuclear energy.”
– Vivek Ramaswamy
“[nuclear energy] is affordable, it is increasingly clean, it is reliable and I’m excited about the opportunity to develop a small, modular reactor infrastructure to go along with these big commercial reactors that can power the future of the commonwealth.”
– Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA)
Bottom line: conservatives, including those running for President know that if we let our free market advantage work, there will be reduced emissions, lower costs, and America will win.