The Republican Party’s newest platform, passed in July at the GOP’s convention, states in its preamble the party’s primary mission is to create policies that will “make America great and united again.”
To accomplish that goal, Republicans laid out several important policy proposals in their section on the environment, agriculture, energy, and climate, titled “America’s Natural Resources: Agriculture, Energy, and the Environment.” Among the solutions offered in that section is the promise to improve America by reducing or rescinding various agricultural, climate, energy, and natural resource regulations that are currently undermining the United States’ global competitiveness while producing little in the way of environmental benefits.
The platform makes specific commitments to end government favoritism for green-energy producers and endorses policies that would allow any form of energy that can compete in the free marketplace without subsidies to thrive. It pledges to expedite energy production on federal lands and promises the approval of natural gas and coal export terminals. The platform also states Congress shall “immediately pass universal legislation … requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to states … [because] [t]he residents of state and local communities know best how to protect the land where they work and live.”
Concerning climate change, the Republican platform rejects a tax on carbon dioxide and demands an immediate halt to U.S. funding for the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, including the Green Climate Fund.
‘Push in Right Direction’
Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, says the policies described in Republican Party’s platform would move the country in the right direction.
“Adopting the Republican platform on energy and climate would be a huge boost to restoring the United States to robust economic growth and a big push in the right direction,” said Ebell.
Ebell also lauds the Republican platform for taking up the issue of public land ownership, noting the federal government owns more than 50 percent of the land in Western states.
“Federal lands are being managed like a nature preserve, which has destroyed the economies of many rural Western areas and played havoc with the environment there,” Ebell said. “For example, the Pacific Northwest has some of the best timber resources in the world, but because federal land management policy puts much of it off-limits, Pacific forests are being managed by natural fires rather than the logging and timber industry.
“When these lands are returned, the states will start privatizing them and you will see new industries start popping up, fueling a long and sustained era of economic growth,” said Ebell.
Marita Noon, executive director of Energy Makes America Great, says the two parties’ respective energy platforms should help voters when they cast their votes on Election Day.
“In 2016, there is a definite nexus between energy and the election,” said Noon. “America’s abundant resources have supplied the country with efficient, economical energy, providing the United States with energy security and a competitive advantage in a global marketplace. The Republicans’ platform recognizes our energy resources should be maximized to the benefit of our nation.
“By contrast, ending the use of fossil fuels, as the Democratic [Party’s] platform proposes, will make us more dependent on foreign, often hostile countries, harming our nation’s security and the economy.”
Kenneth Artz ([email protected]) writes from Dallas, Texas.
Republican Platform 2016, July 18, 2016: https://heartland.org/policy-documents/republican-platform-2016