Photo via CNN
John McCain believes we have to fight climate change, but not with Obama's cap and trade. Senate Minority Leader John Boehner thinks the idea that carbon dioxide is causing global warming is "comical". Sarah Palin, who once said that climate change isn't caused by man, now believes it's hurting Alaska and wants to drill for natural gas. RNC leader Michael Steele is a flat out climate change denier.
The biggest climate and energy bill ever to hit Congress is now taking center stage--and the GOP seems entirely unsure of how best to address global warming.Politico puts it best: "Ask 15 Republicans about climate change, and you’ll get 20 different answers."
And that's not meant to be an insult to the GOP—there are indeed green Republicans working towards climate change solutions. But as Politico notes, the lack of party consensus on the issue could muddle proceedings and undermine the GOP's most potent line of attack: that a cap and trade or a carbon tax system would end up costing the American public too much money (a claim, by the way, that's exaggerated).
Which is good news for all those hoping that Congress can pass a bill that would curb carbon emissions. Of course, the best news would be for more Republicans to join forces with the likes of Sue Collins, the Maine Senator who's an outspoken advocate of climate legislation, and work towards a bipartisan bill to reduce greenhouse gases. But as it stands, the GOP party leadership is sending extremely mixed messages about what climate change even is--much less rallying for a unified course of action.
The GOP hasn't yet come up with an alternative to the Democrat's climate and energy bill—which one GOP Congressman called "the Largest Assault on Democracy and Freedom in this Country"--and they've produced no energy plan at all. It could be due to internal disagreement on the issue, or it could be that the Republican leadership deems addressing climate change unnecessary.
Either way, the "scattershot" confusion over the party's message on climate change is calling attention away from their argument that it would raise taxes and consumer costs—and drawing it to the fact that the GOP is undecided at best on how it plans on dealing with global warming. Which means less people will have an opportunity to buy into their "raised costs" line of attack. Which means a better shot at getting climate legislation passed to reduce greenhouse gases nationwide. Which means good news for Earth.
More on GOP and Climate Change:
What Role Will EPA Play In Climate Action? GOP Strategy Announced.
Fred Thompson, Soon-to-Be GOP Candidate, on Climate Change