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Some Republican lawmakers break with party on climate change



A small but growing number of Republican legislators are pressing for action on climate change, driven by mood reversals among GOP voters and the impact of global warming from stronger cyclones to more destructive forest fires.

What they consider to be GOP principles favors market-oriented solutions over government regulations. Many are loyal followers of President Trump, but they say goodbye to him in terms of climate change, which he dismissed as hyped up.

In a memo to the Republican convention bureau on Wednesday, the election office of longtime GOP strategist Frank Luntz warned of climate change "a GOP vulnerability and GOP opportunity." The company conducted a poll for the Climate Leadership Council, a political group working to change a carbon tax, and said in the memo that 69% of Republican voters are concerned that their party "is hurting younger voters

Florida Republican MP Matt Gaetz says the government must make sound conservative proposals to tackle climate change and include science, or risk long-term political damage.

"How can we as a Party of the In the face of globalization and automation, as well as climate change, we face challenges that are not credible to policymakers, "said Mr Gaetz in an interview.

In April, Mr. Gaetz announced his Green Real Deal plan which aims to reduce greenhouse gases missions by promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and reducing government regulations on developing clean energy technologies. His plan is in contradiction to that of MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and others proposed "Green New Deal", which requires large federal investment in buildings, industry and transport systems to reduce emissions.

Rep. Garret Graves's state of Louisiana is dependent on the oil and gas industry, but is losing land, partly due to sea-level rise. As the highest-ranking minority member of the newly created House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, he favored state-funded financial incentives for state and local investment in resilience projects such as flood protection.

The threat of climate change, but it is slowly being talked about strategies and solutions, "said Ben Pendergrass, senior government director at Citizens & # 39; Climate Lobby, a non-partisan advocacy group that helped found the cross-party House Climate Solutions Caucus contributed. The Caucus, founded in 201

6, has about two dozen Republican members.

The price of climate change

Rep. Francis Rooney (R., Fla.), Caucus' new co-chair, joined forces with the Democrats in January to support a measure to tax carbon emissions from fuel manufacturers and importers. This was followed by a carbon tax bill filed by the then representative last year. Carlos Curbelo (R., Fla.), Who got stuck. Mr. Rooney also introduced a resolution in February to mitigate the effects of sea-level rise.

Yet, he and like-minded Republicans remain a small minority in the party. When the democratically controlled House passed a resolution in May aimed at keeping the US in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which Mr Trump said was about to withdraw, only three Republicans voted in favor. And no Republicans have approved the Green New Deal.

"They have been a tiny linchpin of climate change deniers on the flat earth, at least to admit that climate change is real," said Rep. Darren Soto (D., Fla.), A member of the Subcommittee the House of Representatives on Environment and Climate Change. "We really need a fundamental and bipartisan belief in the fact that climate change is man-made and an existential threat to humanity."

The Senate is headed by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has made reducing emissions a political priority.

The state of Florida relies on its natural resources for its booming tourism industry, which has been plagued by algal blooms in warm waters in recent years. As part of its environmental agenda, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis formed a task force to deal with algal blooms. He also successfully invested more than $ 625 million this year to restore and protect Everglades' water resources and created the position of chief science officer to coordinate research on environmental issues.

Having an opening is to be a really good environmentalist, "DeSantis said at an event in Miami last month.

A survey conducted by Monmouth University in 2018 found that 64% of Republicans believed in climate change, accounting for a 15% jump from 2015, compared with 92% of Democrats. At the same time, 25% of Republicans called it a very serious problem, while 82% of Democrats did.

Share Your Thoughts

How could market-based solutions help your state and the US deal with climate change? Join the following conversation.

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, Millennial Republicans believe twice as often as baby boomers and older GOP members that the government is doing too little to reduce the impact of climate change or improve air quality protect .

Mr. Rooney said his party must address such a mood among younger generations. "Let's come here with the program and get some of those up and coming polling blocks," he said.

A group called RepublicEn wants to promote conservative support for combating climate change by proposing a free-enterprise policy. These include a similar carbon tax to that of Mr Rooney, which would reduce fossil fuel consumption and pay tax revenues back to taxpayers, for example, by charging them with reduced wage or income taxes. It would also include a "border adjustment" that imposes a fee on imports from non-carbon tax countries to prevent US companies from being competitive.

own language, "said Bob Inglis, executive director of the organization.

Write to Arian Campo-Flores at arian.campo-flores@wsj.com


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