North Dakota’s Republican Leaders Defy Voters, Promote Climate Alarmism

Published 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,22 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.
  • 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.