GOP push to shake label of climate crisis denier runs into Trump

3 weeks ago 20

(CNN)As global temperatures rise, immoderate legislature Republicans are feeling the unit to amusement they're embracing clime alteration and connection up their ain program for however to woody with it.

But those aforesaid Republicans are besides moving smack dab into a acquainted obstacle: erstwhile President Donald Trump, their de facto enactment person and a imaginable 2024 statesmanlike campaigner who is inactive firmly successful the denial camp.

Trump blasted retired a connection arsenic precocious arsenic this week doubling down connected calling clime alteration "the Global Warming Hoax." He followed it up with a fundraising email a fewer days later, dubbing clime alteration 1 of his apical 7 hoaxes, alongside the Russia probe and the 2020 election.

    With fewer successful the enactment consenting to straight propulsion backmost connected Trump implicit the contented for fearfulness of alienating the basal oregon angering the mercurial erstwhile President, the GOP's propulsion to shingle its representation arsenic the enactment of clime alteration deniers is facing a steep climb.

      It's a conundrum that could manifest itself successful the adjacent elections. Republicans progressively presumption clime alteration -- which is a apical precedence for young voters of some parties -- arsenic an electoral weakness if they don't marque much of a concerted effort to admit the occupation and supply solutions.

      "I support telling Republicans we tin triumph the solution debate, but if we're successful the denial camp, we've got a problem," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told CNN. "I deliberation successful 2024 we request to person a level successful our enactment that speaks to this issue."

      Yet immoderate of the astir vocal proponents of clime and biology issues successful the GOP admit they are inactive encountering absorption connected the acold right, which is threatening to undermine their mission.

      "We person our extremism (in the party). It tends to manifest itself successful what I would telephone denial," said Rep. John Curtis, a Utah Republican and co-founder of the Conservative Climate Caucus. "I deliberation it's just to accidental that's been retired there, and there's cipher to blasted but ourselves. Because we've either been soundless oregon each we bash is archer radical what we don't like. This is antithetic for us, speaking retired and really putting distant ideas."

      "Part of this branding occupation ... is our ain fault," helium added.

      Republicans are trying to trade their clime argumentation

      Despite the agelong odds, there's a radical of Republicans determined to enactment their stamp connected the clime argumentation debate.

      A delegation of 5 Republicans is attending the UN's yearly clime summit, known arsenic COP26, successful Glasgow starting this weekend. Republicans are hoping to connection a counter-message to Democrats' clime policies, portion showing Republicans are likewise dedicated to combating the problem. It's the archetypal Republican-only delegation going to a COP.

      "It's incredibly important for the satellite to spot Republicans are engaged connected this issue, and that we bash care, and that we bash person ideas," Curtis said. "We privation to beryllium astatine the clime table."

      Curtis besides argued there's a increasing tendency successful the enactment to code the clime crisis, pointing retired that 70 House Republicans, oregon astir one-third of the conference, joined the recently formed Conservative Climate Caucus this year.

      "It's benignant of a caller improvement successful blimpish politics, and truly has developed good successful the past fewer years," said Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, 1 of the Republicans traveling to the clime summit. "Independents privation to perceive it. Younger voters privation to perceive from you. We request to beryllium showing that, look, we inactive care."

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      House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy held a three-day forum to item immoderate of the GOP's biology proposals earlier this twelvemonth and appointed a task unit dedicated to the topic.

      "The Republican Party is precise forward-looking to find however we could beryllium vigor independent, alternatively of making gasoline prices truthful high," the California Republican told CNN. "You wouldn't privation the satellite to deliberation the connection connected clime was conscionable with Nancy Pelosi. Republicans person solutions to these problems."

      Part of McCarthy's information is electoral: A caller procreation of young blimpish voters cares astir clime change, and wants the Republican Party to instrumentality enactment connected the issue. Gallup's yearly elector survey connected clime change recovered that astir two-thirds of Republicans aged 18-29 believed planetary warming was caused by quality activity, compared with astir a 3rd of Republicans older than 55.

      "They recognize the electoral ticking clip bomb," Chris Barnard, argumentation manager for the younker blimpish clime radical American Conservation Coalition. "If the question doesn't code this issue, we're going to suffer relevance with young voters. It's truly important to america connected each fronts."

      Across the Capitol, Senate Republicans person ramped up efforts to outline their ain argumentation vision, arsenic Democrats effort to walk their $1.75 trillion economical and clime package.

      On Wednesday, Sens. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming released the "American Energy, Jobs and Climate Plan," which aims to trim planetary emissions by 40% beneath existent levels by 2050.

      "It's unusual, but it's got to beryllium an important portion of it," Cramer told CNN of the plan's greenhouse gas-reduction targets. "I deliberation there's a increasing realization by politicians of each stripes that it's an contented that Americans privation america to woody with."

      The Republican program would not effort to extremity reliance connected fossil fuels and puts accent connected the US continuing to merchantability and usage earthy gas. But the program would beforehand jobs successful renewable vigor specified arsenic nuclear, and mining for captious minerals that are utilized to marque electrical conveyance batteries. Beyond wide goals, the program is abbreviated connected circumstantial policies. Senators said they are inactive negotiating with their Republican colleagues -- and immoderate Democrats, including mean Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia -- connected what precisely should beryllium included.

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      The senators besides acknowledged that portion they've been moving connected the program for months, they don't person full buy-in from different Senate and House Republicans. Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana -- 1 of the members traveling to COP -- told CNN helium opposes the emissions people the Senate program sets.

      "I person not seen it successful large detail," Graves said. "I enactment the planetary constituent and focusing connected that. But, personally, I don't similar to acceptable targets if I don't person a program to get determination oregon the exertion to get there. So that's wherever I get concerned."

      Where Republicans bash hold is they don't privation to actively little US c emissions, arguing that's happening capable connected its own. President Joe Biden and legislature Democrats person been putting each their accent connected reducing US greenhouse state emissions, portion Republicans privation to propulsion countries similar China and India to bash more.

      "China is by acold the biggest polluter successful the world, by far. India's close down them," Lummis said during a quality league (the US is the second-biggest polluter successful the world, betwixt China and India). "If we would export our technology, our liquid earthy state ... we would bash much for planetary clime alteration past we tin bash by spending the magnitude of wealth that the Biden medication wants to propulsion astatine the connection clime alteration without solving the problems."

      The GOP besides agrees it wants to tarnish Democrats' program arsenic overmuch arsenic imaginable -- linking a aboriginal modulation to cleanable vigor to the existent vigor crunch. During the Wednesday quality conference, Republicans referred to Biden's clime program arsenic the "Green New Deal" astir 20 times.

      Still, negatively messaging connected Democrats' program is the casual part; the much hard happening for Republicans is to travel up with their ain solution.

      There's disagreement wrong the GOP connected clime policy

      But the Republicans' proposals are facing pushback from some sides. Democrats accidental the GOP's plans -- which see a measure to works 1 trillion trees successful bid to region c dioxide from the ambiance -- are acold from capable to woody with the crisis.

      Conservatives, meanwhile, are expressing uneasiness with the Republican clime push.

      "I'm ever wondering what their constituency is for this oregon who it's aimed at," said Myron Ebell, manager of the Center for Energy and Environment astatine the Competitive Enterprise Institute. "These efforts are good intended ... but I don't deliberation they're peculiarly good considered."

      Ebell added that the Republicans' humble proposals are fundamentally trying to person it "both ways."

      "It's saying, 'I privation vigor production. I don't privation to bash thing to harm vigor accumulation successful our economy. But connected the different hand, I privation to accidental I'm doing thing astir the climate,'" helium said.

      At a quality league this week, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana -- whose location authorities has been deed hard by clime crisis-related earthy disasters -- echoed immoderate of the skepticism that has been prevalent connected the right.

      When asked what the GOP is doing to code clime change, Scalise downplayed the impacts of planetary warming connected earthy disasters, saying that "we had hurricanes a batch longer than we've had changes successful c emissions."

      "Ten 1000 years ago, you tin look astatine the grounds and we person warmer temperatures connected the Earth than we bash today. Because it goes up and down," helium said. "We've had freezing periods successful the 1970s. They said it was going to beryllium a caller cooling period. And present it gets warmer and gets colder, and that's called Mother Nature. But the thought that hurricanes oregon wildfires were caused conscionable successful the past fewer years is conscionable fallacy."

      In August, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel connected Climate Change delivered a wide message: Human-caused clime alteration is undoubtedly intensifying utmost upwind events astir the planet, which is warming faster present than they had antecedently observed.

      Graves, besides from Louisiana, said that portion helium doesn't deliberation a changing clime is causing much predominant storms, helium believes it's present producing stronger storms.

      "I person seen information that indicates that you person greater tempest intensity," Graves said.

      Former South Carolina Republican lawmaker Bob Inglis, who is outspoken connected the issue, said he's heard from galore of his erstwhile colleagues that their children and grandchildren are pushing them to enactment connected clime change.

      "Former colleagues, they're impacted by their kids and grandkids, and galore are looking for a mode retired of this," Inglis told CNN. "They've got to fig retired whether they're going to beryllium Trumped successful immoderate mode oregon whether they tin skate past him connected this and beryllium each right."

        Cramer, however, dismissed the thought that Trump's continued clime alteration denialism was clouding the statement oregon deterring the GOP's efforts to code the issue.

        "Donald Trump asked maine 5 to six years agone what I thought astir planetary clime change, and I said it doesn't matter, the American radical privation america to woody with it and I'd alternatively person our solutions than the Democrats'," helium said. "So helium and I person -- we person a disagreement connected clime change, but surely from a nationalist work work standpoint, we person a work to woody with it successful a liable way, and that's wherever I'm focused."

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