PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Warns North Dakota’s Republican Leaders: Promote False Climate Alarmism and Court Political Defeat

Published May 28, 2024
North Dakota policy brief

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (May 28, 2024) — North Dakota’s leading Republican politicians have defied conservative voters and bought into Al Gore’s climate alarmism. In doing so, they are pushing policies that will increase North Dakota energy prices and limit consumers’ energy choices.

North Dakotans are not being harmed by purported human-caused climate change. Despite this fact, some Republican leaders in the state – including Sen. Sen. Kevin Cramer and Gov. Doug Burgum –  have embraced the language and policy goals of climate alarmists.

This is a big mistake and a new policy brief by The Heartland Institute explains why.

Among the reasons:

  • Republican voters are far from supportive of climate action. In fact, only 29 percent of Republicans think climate change needs to be addressed, according to a 2024 YouGov poll. And Only 12 percent of Republicans think fossil fuels should be phased out.
  • Extreme weather is not on the rise in North Dakota. According to the 2022 NCEI report, average temperature has moderately risen since the beginning of the 20th century, but this average temperature increase has not been accompanied by or consisted of an increase in extreme heat events. While North Dakota has seen a gradual increase in annual precipitation during the past century, the data show that increased precipitation is not causing an onslaught of extreme precipitation events.
  • Extreme cold is declining. Because the number of days with maximum temperatures of 0°F or lower, have declined, fewer livestock are freezing to death and mortality from extreme cold has also declined.
  • Crop production is up. In spite of the climate alarmism narrative, worldwide crop production continues to improve, setting records for most crops regularly. North Dakota is no exception to this welcome trend.
  • The likely political blowback for North Dakota Republicans embracing climate alarmist policies will be harsh. Recent history shows Republicans who have taken an “I care about climate change, too” approach do not perform well on Election Day. Evidence suggests that among the few voters for whom climate change is an important concern, they will choose Democrats over Republican climate advocates, anyway.

You can read the report at this link.

The following statements from climate and energy experts at The Heartland Institute – a national free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“As self-proclaimed conservatives and defenders of economic freedom, Republican policymakers owe it to their voters to publicly expose the faulty and fraudulent asserted science behind climate alarmism. There is no such thing as a ‘conservative solution’ to a non-existent crisis that involves government subsidizing, inducing, or coercing changes in private citizens’ desired behavior.

“Instead of coddling climate alarmists by playing along with their climate activist games, Republican policymakers need to boldly and unequivocally call out the climate sham for what it is. Shame on any elected Republican policymakers who fail to do so.”

James Taylor
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Cramer and Burgum’s climate outreach hurts North Dakotans and Republicans holding the line on climate alarm, while doing nothing to prevent climate change – which is beyond humankind’s ability. North Dakota is not being harmed by climate change. The weather is not getting worse and crop production is booming.

“The carbon restricting policies pushed by Cramer and Burgum will hurt the state’s energy and agriculture industries. It also hurts the nation as a whole in relation to our economic and geopolitical competitors, especially China. Republicans don’t benefit by trying to ‘out Democrat’ Democrats on climate change.”

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.

Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment and Climate News
[email protected]

“Folding to the demands and claims of climate extremists will not help anyone in the long term. Every compromise moves the needle closer to where alarmists want us, and further from reasonable energy and environmental policy. It is wildly irresponsible for Republicans in North Dakota of all places to attempt to court ESG instead of fighting it, as other states have done successfully.”

Linnea C. Lueken
Research Fellow
Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1984 and headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.