House Republicans are unveiling a multi-pronged energy and climate plan ahead of the midterm elections, a strategy the party hopes to win over Americans frustrated by sky-high prices at the pumps and young, climate-conscious voters.
The six-pillar agenda marks a major shift for Republicans on Capitol Hill, who for years have lacked a comprehensive energy and climate roadmap. Republicans will market the components as pragmatic solutions to tackle some of the nation’s top pocket and societal issues that have garnered bipartisan support.
The half-dozen items include: “Unlocking America’s Resources,” “Letting America Build,” “American Innovation,” “Beating China and Russia,” “Conservation with Purpose,” and “Building Resilient Communities.” “.
High-level themes will focus on increasing household energy production in all its forms; enable the reform of renewable and fossil fuel projects; achieve energy independence; developing critical mineral resources and exporting more liquefied natural gas; to preserve the environment; and strengthen communities against natural disasters.
Notably, it does not include any short-term solution to blunt record gasoline prices, a silent nod to the fact that a volatile global energy market with demand that continues to outstrip supply is eluding. controlled by the federal government.
There are also no specific targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the hope that the private sector will lead the way in reducing this climate pollution, drawing criticism from Democrats and most environmental groups that the GOP does not take the fight against global warming seriously.
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The plan was spearheaded by an energy, climate and conservation task force created last year by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California. Representative Garret Graves, Republican of Louisiana, leads the task force.
The American Conservation Coalition (ACC), a right-wing environmental organization that targets young conservatives, said the strategy is a recognition of Republicans that although they have the advantage heading into the midterm elections, they need to better cater to voters who are young, suburban and female.
“It’s a recognition of how important the issue of climate change is to young people from all political walks of life and politically, Republicans understand that they need to talk about it proactively,” the vice president of government affairs said. of the ACC, Quill Robinson. “The solutions that have been proposed by the left have been ineffective.”
Senate Republicans are not expected to present their own plan until midterm, but have spoken out favorably on issues their House counterparts want to address.
While Republicans and right-wing environmental groups have praised the strategy, Democrats and climate organizations aligned with them have been quick to criticize it as an energy and climate plan that omits the climate part.
“I can’t make it up: House Republicans’ climate change strategy calls for more drilling,” said Rep. Don Beyer, Democrat of Virginia.
James Singer, press secretary for the House Democrats’ campaign arm, noted that House Republican leaders opposed the bipartisan infrastructure package passed by Congress last year. He decried the part of the GOP plan that tackles permit reform for major infrastructure projects.
“They just had a chance to do it and went against it!” Mr. Singer tweeted.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international nonprofit environmental advocacy group, offered a “prediction” of what the GOP roadmap will become.
“More fossil fuel production, with some tree planting for cover,” said David Doniger, senior strategic director of the NRDC’s Climate and Clean Energy Program. “Prove me the contrary.”