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Climate a toxic topic for Republicans - FT.com

Climate a toxic topic for Republicans - FT.com


June 3,
2014 4:53 pm

Climate a toxic topic for Republicans

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Weeks before Barack Obama
launched his administration’s most ambitious plan to cut carbon
emissions
, four Republicans competing to be the party’s Senate candidate in
North Carolina were asked if climate change was real.
One by one in a televised debate, they gave the same, firm, single-word answer:
“No.”
After a period decades ago when Republicans
led the debate on climate change and more recently competed with Democrats on policies to combat it, the party and its leaders now barely touch
the issue, so toxic has it become among conservative activists.


“Conservatives break out in hives once you
mention carbon and have an anaphylactic reaction once you mention tax,” said
Bob Inglis, a former Republican congressman forced out of Congress largely
because of his support for action on climate change.



Republicans are furious at Mr Obama’s
announcement on Monday, using new Environmental Protection Agency rules to cut
emissions from power stations by 30 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels, a move
with the potential to reshape the US electricity sector.


But Mr Obama had no choice if he wanted to
move on climate change, because the Republicans’ hostility to mitigating carbon
emissions has ensured that Congress will be paralysed over the issue for the
foreseeable future.


Although views among Republicans range from
outright denial to scepticism, the reasons the politics over climate change
have shifted so radically goes well beyond the debate over science.


In the short term, in the
race for control of the Senate in the congressional midterm elections in
November, the future of the coal industry could be pivotal in mining states
such as Kentucky, now held by Mitch
McConnell
, the Republican minority leader.
“In the Senate, Kentucky is Ground Zero,”
said Jennifer Duffy, of the Cook Political Report in Washington. “It’s not just
about the health of the [coal] industry; for the workers, it’s about whether
their jobs, their families and their communities survive.”


The latest news and analysis on the world’s
changing climate and the political moves afoot to tackle the problem


Mr McConnell’s Democratic
opponent in Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes, herself immediately attacked Mr
Obama’s announcement, with an advertisement featuring a miner proudly holding a lump of
coal.

Mr Obama successfully beat off a well-funded
campaign against him by the coal industry in Ohio and Virginia in the 2012
presidential election but Mr McConnell may have more success this year in using
the issue to hold his seat.


“There are hardly any Republican lawmakers in
states that aren’t energy production states, so there’s little downside risk
for them to be so pro-energy,” said Brandon Barford, partner at Beacon Policy
Advisors, a research group.



“Even the Republicans left in swing states
are from rural parts that benefit from the energy boom,” he added, giving as
examples the coal-producing regions of West Virginia and Kentucky.


Cheap and newly abundant gas has been
undermining the use of coal in the US as much if not more than tighter
environmental regulations, but that is a message that is harder to sell, and no
more palatable for the industry.


The gas boom has also triggered by itself a
dramatic fall in carbon emissions, with energy-related emissions of greenhouse
gases dropping 12 per cent between 2005 and 2012, to their lowest level since
1994.


It was as though I had defected
from my own tribe to the tribe of Al Gore
- Bob Inglis, former Republican congressman

In the longer term, however, climate change
has become what Mr Inglis calls a “flashpoint in the culture wars”, and
indelibly linked in Republican minds with bigger government and more
regulation.


There have been similar backlashes in other
democracies. In the UK, David Cameron’s Conservative party once ran on a slogan
of ‘Vote Blue, Go Green’, but that has been cast aside, and in Australia, the
rightwing Liberal Party swept to power partly by attacking their opponent’s
carbon tax.


Mr Inglis himself lost the Republican primary
for his district in South Carolina in 2010 in the wake of his activism in
Congress on climate change, and other issues.


“It was my most enduring heresy,” he said.
“It was as though I had defected from my own tribe to the tribe of Al Gore.”


Mr Inglis, no fan of Mr
Obama’s EPA rules, now runs the Energy and Enterprise Initiative which promotes market-based
solutions to climate change and is pushing a plan for a revenue-neutral carbon
tax.

Comment:
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Carbon Emission is a proven fact that it is
highly dangerous for all living beings on earth. It is indeed not understood
why people should stand against to control it to facilitate all to live. Do
these people not understand if nobody SURVIVES then who would be there to cry
for Jobs. Would there be any need for any JOB?



Those few who are drum beating the cause of
jobs are not sincere for the cause of Jobs but some thing else could be winning
the election or to stay in office for pocketing wealth etc.


Those Republicans who understood and came to
know the real ulterior motives of the Republicans resisting and obstructing and
trying to prove: ‘Environmental Protection Agency rules to cut emissions from
power stations by 30 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels, a move with the
potential to reshape the US electricity sector’, is an uncalled for proposal of
the President has already started to support the action taken by the President
these days.


Well, about Mitch MaConnel it would not be
proper to deliberate about his intention, as the Public knows about him and his
negative political activities. He says one thing and does just the opposite.


His activities as a senior Republican Leader
is no better than Ex Leader of the House of congress Eric Canter. And Public
thinks he together with another friend of his should soon join Eric Canter.


Therefore, in couple of months the Republican’s
considering 'Climate a toxic topic for them' would evaporate and Presidents
proposal would stand. The Topic Climate Change and its effect would be
unimaginable if not tackled now.  





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