RNC platform goes off the deep end of Climate Denial
It’s no secret that of the two major political parties, the Republicans are the less climate hawkish. All through the early part of the primary process, we pressured candidates from both parties — but especially the Republicans — to face up to the facts that climate change is real, caused by humans and that we need a massive national response at all levels of government to address it.
Sadly for Republican Climate Hawks (yes they’re out there, though more rare than most endangered species as far as we can tell) the nominee, Donald Trump, is an avowed climate denier and opponent of clean energy. But, just because one nominee opposes action on climate change, there’s no rule that says the entire ticket has to follow suit. Not that long ago there was a healthy debate over how to address climate change inside the party with some leaders, like former GOP-Nominee John McCain, supporting a cap and trade plan — while others favored a price on pollution and incentives for green energy instead.
But those days seem to be long gone as the RNC platform committee meets this week to finalize the party’s platform. The final platform wont be final until the Convention next week, but the committee has already agreed upon, “America’s natural resources, energy and environment” and “Great American families, education, healthcare and criminal justice” — and yeah, it’s pretty weird.
Unlike the DNC, which has had several public meetings on their platform, and invited testimony and input from climate leaders like Bill McKibben, Josh Fox, Jane Kleeb and many others (read more about how that turned out in Anthony’s post next door), the RNC platform was crafted mostly by political insiders and fossil fuel lobbyists — and it shows.
The RNC platform on energy calls Coal “clean” endorses an “All of the Above” energy strategy — by which they seem to mean “anything below” since it specifically says we must develop all “American God-given resources” while deriding investment in wind and solar as “venture capital… for risky endeavors.” I guess they forgot about the $1 trillion dollars a year the U.S. other G20 countries spend on fossil fuel subsidies every year.
The platform specifically says the RNC is “committed to approving the Keystone XL Pipeline and to streamlining permitting for the development of other oil and natural gas pipelines.” While it doesn’t specifically say that Exxon can seize your house or your land to make money, it’s clear they’re on the side of eminent domain for private gain. It also specifically supports drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, and just about anywhere else they can think to name.
There’s more, but honestly the debate over the future of life on earth is not given nearly as much page space (or debating space) as truly wacky issues like teaching the bible in public schools, declaring pornography a public health crisis, and basically declaring anyone who’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or queer to be illegal.
So where do we go from here? Well, the platform wont be final until the Convention. So until then we’ll keep calling on the RNC to ban fracking and other extreme energy sources in their party platform. But we’re also focussing a lot more attention on the DNC and their platform, which took a good turn over last weekend when it added more language on climate change, methane, and other issues we care about.
If you want to be part of that fight, consider joining us at the March for a Clean Energy Revolution on July 24 in Philadelphia – or sponsoring a fellow fractivist to attend. This non-partisan, candidate-neutral march will give our climate movement a big chance to come together and be seen, heard and active on the eve of the DNC convention – where we’ll have (at least) one more chance to ban fracking and make their platform even stronger.