Climate change has not been a popular topic with Republicans in the U.S. Congress in recent years. Some deny the phenomenon is even happening, and others simply avoid the topic altogether. But that’s changing in the U.S. House of Representatives, where the Republican leader and others are talking it up now and even offering an agenda for addressing climate change. So, what’s given rise to this burst of activity and what message are Republicans trying to send?
In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks to Representative Garret Graves, a Louisiana Republican who’s one of the leaders of the climate change movement among members of his party in the House. Graves is the top Republican on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, a panel formed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year to develop policy options on climate change.
Bill visited Representative Graves at his office on Capitol Hill just hours after House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy unveiled four pieces of legislation as part of his party’s response to climate change. The measures would support global efforts to plant one trillion trees, promote more research on carbon-capture technologies and uses for carbon, and make permanent a tax break for companies that use the technology. It’s a mix of old and new policy ideas, some of which already enjoy bipartisan support.
In a wide-ranging discussion, the Baton Rouge native talked about what’s motivating him and his Republican colleagues to offer a climate change agenda now and how he distinguishes it from policy approaches taken by Democrats. He also discussed how these plans might fare with President Trump.