The House GOP Has a “Climate” Plan. It’s a Giveaway to the Fossil Fuel Industry.

In an apparent bid to win over midterm voters, House Republicans announced a climate and energy plan on Thursday that would accelerate expansion of the fossil fuel industry and other sources of pollution — and sets no reduction goals for climate-warming emissions.

Republicans say their strategy would harness the power of “entrepreneurship” to promote cleaner energy and reduce emissions. The oil and gas industry has generously contributed campaign contributions to the efforts of lawmakers.

The plan, first presented in a briefThursday morning’s press release seems to contain very few policy ideas. According to environmental groups, it contains clear giveaways for the fossil fuel lobby. Republicans would offer tax credits or incentives for controversial (and struggling) “carbon capture” projects as well as to nuclear power, while weakening environmental rules to speed up permitting for oil drilling, pipelines, natural gas export terminals, and other large infrastructure.

Republicans claim their plan will also benefit the renewable energy sector. But, House Democrats disagree. quickly pannedThe House GOP has refused to set emissions limits based upon the most recent climate science. Scientists say governments must take “drastic action”To phase out fossil fuels and rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change.

“This would be laughable as a climate agenda in 2022 except there is absolutely nothing funny about the climate crisis or Congressional Republicans’ obstruction of desperately needed solutions in the name of lining the pockets of their corporate allies and big oil polluters who fund their campaigns,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, the vice president of government affairs at the League of Conservation Voters, in a statement.

The policy framework was announced by a “climate, conservation and energy” task force created last year by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has received $414,824 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry in 2021 and 2022 alone, according to OpenSecrets. Rep. Garret Garret Graves is the leader of the task force. He is a Republican who hails from a southeast Louisiana area that is at risk due to seal level rise. The region is dominated and dominated in part by the oil-and-gas industry. That industry was Graves’s top contributorIn the previous election cycle.

McCarthy is eager to show voters the actions of Republicans to lower gas prices, address climate concerns, if they win control in the midterms. Polls show that most Americans agree with McCarthy. majority of AmericansThey believe climate change is affecting their local communities and that the federal government is not doing enough for the environment. Conservative pollsters sayWhile 84 percent of Americans want Congress to care about clean-energy, only 44 percent think they do.

The GOP plan does not appear to include short-term strategies to lower rising fuel prices, a quiet sign that “free market” Republicans, who have attacked President Joe Biden over inflation and gasoline prices, know that fluctuations in the global energy market are not actually governed by the federal government.

Instead, the plan would “unlock American resources,” “beat China and Russia,” and “let America build,” along with other vague “pillars” that undergird the strategy. A website developed in conjunction with the GOP task team outlines the policies that would be based on the strategy. Unfortunately, the complete strategy was not yet available. existing pro-industry legislation.

Environmentalists are most concerned about GOP plans to weaken NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) in order to speed up permitting for new infrastructure. This includes oil and gas drilling and pipelines, as well as export terminals. NEPA requires that regulators analyze the potential environmental effects of any industrial project.

Democrats and environmentalists have been pushing for years for climate impacts to become part of those reviews. NEPA lawsuits can delay or even halt pipelines and projects that threaten local communities or ecosystems. Some activists believe legal challenges can also help pave way for a just transition from fossil fuels.

Under an executive order to expedite fossil fuel expansion, the Trump White House finalized new NEPA rules in 2020 that curtailed engagement by communities threatened by proposed industrial projects in the NEPA process and ignored the long-term climate impacts of continued fossil fuel pollution, according to Adam Carlesco, an attorney for the environmental group Food & Water Watch. The Biden administration is moving to roll back the previous administration’s environmental rules.

“When a robust analysis is done of the long-range effects of new fossil fuel infrastructure, it is significantly harder for permitters to approve projects due to the grave climatological consequences of continued fossil fuel reliance,” Carlesco said in an email. “NEPA was passed as ‘look before you leap’ law, however the GOP climate plan appears to be one of leaping right off a cliff with eyes willfully closed.”

House Republicans apparently want to join the climate debate after years of peddling climate denialism, but environmentalists say their strategy’s reliance on the polluters who got us into this mess amounts to a classic case of pre-election greenwashing. Democrats are hoping midterm voters don’t buy it.