Climate, Politics/Capitol Light©, is a service of The JBS Group and Civil Notion
February 3, 2020
A Slippery Slope
Over the past several weeks, I’ve included clips on the efforts of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to bring House Republicans in from the cold on climate change. McCarthy’s change of heart is likely attributable to polling numbers that clearly indicate Republicans are vulnerable on this issue with young suburban voters. The suburbs are showing themselves as fertile Democratic fields because of changing demographics.
It is also likely that stoking this newly emerged effort to come up with policy and program proposals has been the Democrats’ climate focus—both in the House and on the hustings. Every contender for the Democratic presidential nomination has made climate defense a prominent part of their pitch to primary voters—to one degree or another.
Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have just released their 600-page draft of the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s Future Act. (see below) It lays out a multi-faceted plan to reach zero-net fifty greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It’s still a work in progress.
With growing support for a federal response to climate change among young suburban Republicans, McCarthy believed it was folly to continue playing the denial card. The way he phrases it “for a 28-year old, the environment is the Number 1 and Number 2 issue.”
It should also be recognized that there’s already growing Republican interest and support for a carbon tax—notably the Baker-Shultz plan. There is a growing number of college-based Repub-lican chapters that are actively advocating its passage. It’s an interesting partnership between old-line establishment Republicans and new-line young Republicans.
Joel Stronberg, MA, JD., of The JBS Group is a veteran clean energy policy analyst with over 30 years’ experience, based in Washington, DC.