House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to unveil Conservative climate and energy agenda

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) plans to unveil a strategy on Thursday outlining how Republicans would address issues related to climate change, energy and the environment if their party takes control of the House in the midterm elections, according to three people familiar with the matter. .

The strategy calls for streamlining the permitting process for major infrastructure projects, increasing domestic fossil fuel production and boosting exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas, which proponents say is cleaner than produced gas. in other countries, according to the individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe details that are not yet public.

Individuals warned that the roadmap is far-reaching and includes a variety of environmental priorities with broad support across the Republican conference. Final details will be announced on Thursday afternoon, although additional information will be shared in the coming weeks, according to one of the people.

The plan is expected to take a much more modest approach to reducing global warming emissions than the proposals of President Biden and congressional Democrats, which have focused on accelerating the country’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Leading scientists have said the world needs to phase out fossil fuels quickly to avoid the consequences of runaway climate change.

Republicans have historically opposed climate change measures, and the party’s de facto leader, former President Donald Trump, has scoffed at the scientific consensus on global warming. It’s unclear whether the GOP plans would actually reduce carbon emissions, or if they instead amounted to an attempt to deflect political blame onto Republicans’ longstanding opposition to addressing catastrophic global warming.

To meet the more ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris agreement, the world must phase out the use of coal within 30 years, according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dependence on gas should be reduced by 45%, while oil consumption must fall by 60% by mid-century, the IPCC said in a recent report concluding that humanity is running out of time to meet the goals global climates.

“I salute the efforts of anyone, regardless of party, who is prepared to seriously address climate change – but on the face of it, this doesn’t look like a serious proposal,” Rep. Don Beyer (D -Go.) from the GOP. to plan.

“Most people understand that a serious climate solution requires a shift to cleaner energy sources, but Republicans apparently want to take us in the opposite direction, with more reliance on dangerous and dirty energy sources” , added Beyer. “I get that my fellow Republicans love fossil fuel production, but it’s just not authentic or helpful to call it a climate change strategy.

Biden’s climate and social spending plan, formerly known as the Build Back Better Act, has been stalled in the Senate for months amid opposition from Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.). If Democrats lose full control of government midterm, the president’s climate agenda would face even greater legislative hurdles, threatening his goal of cutting U.S. emissions in half this decade.

McCarthy, who would likely become president if the GOP gets enough midterm seats, last year appointed Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) to chair a climate, energy and conservation task force . The strategy is the result of months of internal deliberations within this working group, which includes 17 GOP members.

Spokespersons for McCarthy and Graves declined to comment on the filing ahead of the official rollout on Thursday.

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McCarthy said House Republicans plan to release a broad policy platform ahead of the November election to give voters an idea of ​​how the party would govern if it took control of the House. This contrasts with the approach taken by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said Senate Republicans do not plan to release policy proposals and will instead campaign on their criticisms of Democrats. of Congress and the Biden administration.

The House GOP plan comes as Republicans seek to make gains with well-educated suburban voters in November. Some of those voters may want to see Republicans take a more proactive stance on climate change and energy policy, rather than let Democrats dominate the debate, said George David Banks, a Republican climate policy expert who has been White House climate adviser under Trump.

“It’s the competitive seats that make the difference,” he said. “And most of them go through the suburbs. So there is certainly a recognition that you need to gain a critical mass of those to control the House.

Philip Rossetti, senior energy fellow at the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank, agrees.

“Republicans are poised to take the House, but to keep it will require showing moderate voters they can govern,” Rossetti said. “Building a climate platform that Americans can support helps them show they’re not just going against Democrats.”

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