Science & Environment

Republicans Clash Over Fossil Fuel Allegiance

Almost precisely 4 years in the past, considered one of California’s more and more harmful wildfires caused roughly $500,000 in harm to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

But GOP candidates gathered there for the second 2024 presidential major debate virtually uniformly rejected the concept that the planet’s steadily rising temperature was an issue in any respect.

“It’s not climate change we need to worry about,” mentioned North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. “It’s the Biden climate policies.”

After dodging surprisingly pointed questions on local weather change on the first debate Fox News hosted final month, the contenders hoping to tackle President Joe Biden subsequent November battled one another over who would do most to ramp up manufacturing of the fossil fuels destabilizing the planet’s climate programs.

“Drill, baby, drill,” businessman Vivek Ramaswamy mentioned, repeating a marketing campaign slogan cribbed from former actuality TV star and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s failed 2008 vice presidential marketing campaign (however coined by former Maryland Lieutenant Gov. Michael Steele).

While the right-wing biotech government expressed help for a minimum of one supply of zero-carbon power, vowing to “embrace” the nuclear energy that already supplies one-fifth of the nation’s electrical energy, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott prompt solely fossil fuels mattered.

“We’re the richest country if you combine coal, gas and oil,” Scott mentioned.

Like former President Barack Obama before him, former Vice President Mike Pence claimed accountability for the United States changing into a significant exporter of gasoline and oil. Pence accused Biden, who has overseen a surge of U.S. gas gross sales abroad, of stifling that progress.

“One of the signature accomplishments of our administration was in just a few short years we achieved energy independence,” Pence mentioned. “But on day one, Joe Biden declared a war on energy.”

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley mentioned the U.S. wants “to partner with producers and make sure we have their back” ― not specifying which power firms she meant in a rustic with huge photo voltaic, wind, nuclear, hydroelectric and fossil gas sources.

In some of the gripping moments for any debate over power, Haley then lit into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the highest-polling candidate on a stage with out Donald Trump, for steering his state regulators to ban hydraulic fracturing, the drilling method often called fracking.

“Ron DeSantis is against fracking,” Haley mentioned. “He’s against drilling. He always talks about what happens on day one. You better watch out because what happens on day two is where you get in trouble.”

Just two days into his first time period in 2019, DeSantis issued an government order instructing the Department of Environmental Protection to section down all fracking in Florida, according to Politifact.

While DeSantis received the governor’s seat simply months earlier by a margin of lower than 1% in opposition to his Democratic opponent, almost 70% of Florida voters in the identical election approved a poll measure to amend the state constitution to ban “drilling for exploration or extraction of oil or natural gas” on lands “beneath all state waters which have not been alienated and that lie between the mean high water line and the outermost boundaries of the state’s territorial seas.”

The assault unraveled considerably when Haley claimed DeSantis signed the order earlier than the election that introduced the previous congressman to Tallahassee.

“You banned it before they voted,” Haley mentioned.

“That’s not true,” DeSantis mentioned.

He pointed to a coverage platform he issued this month calling for main will increase in fossil gas manufacturing.

“We’re going to choose Midland over Moscow, we’re going to choose the Marcellus over the mullahs, and we’re going to choose the Bakken over Beijing,” DeSantis added, referring to main oil- and gas-producing areas of Texas, Pennsylvania and North Dakota, respectively.

It appeared to arrange a second for Burgum, the lowest-polling candidate, whose comparatively average report in his state has made it tough to face out in a race dominated by Trump. Earlier within the debate, when asked concerning the ongoing auto union strike, he launched right into a diatribe insisting that electrical autos had been the true reason for the employees’ misery, partially as a result of Chinese-produced uncommon earth minerals utilized in automobile batteries are ecologically harmful.

But on the power query, he merely famous that his state, a significant oil producer, was “already doing it.”

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