Energy and environment in the GOP platform: They said what?
We read the whole 62-page Republican platform so you don’t have to. No need to thank us. Well, actually, you really should thank us. Thank us profusely, please.
Here are the good bits, by which we mean the bad bits.
Climate change gets a mention
Only in a mocking way, within a section entitled “A Failed National Security Strategy.” And within scare quotes. But still, a mention.
The current Administration’s most recent National Security Strategy … subordinates our national security interests to environmental, energy, and international health issues, and elevates “climate change” to the level of a “severe threat” equivalent to foreign aggression. The word “climate,” in fact, appears in the current President’s strategy more often than Al Qaeda, nuclear proliferation, radical Islam, or weapons of mass destruction.
Interesting that Republicans think it’s a wise strategy to discuss frequency of use of the phrase “weapons of mass destruction.”
Republicans are for property rights, except when they’re against them
The GOP platform is clear in upholding the Fifth Amendment:
[W]ithout property rights, individual rights are diminished. That is why we deplore the Supreme Court’s Kelo v. New London decision, allowing local governments to seize a person’s home or land, not for vital public use, but for transfer to private developers.
Except when the private developers that want to seize a citizen’s land are planning to build a big tar-sands oil pipeline on it — then it’s just fine.
We are committed to approving the Keystone XL Pipeline and to streamlining permitting for the development of other oil and natural gas pipelines.
Coal is cool
The dirtiest of all fossil fuels is the first energy source highlighted in the platform’s energy and environment section.
We look toward the private sector’s development of new, state-of-the-art coal-fired plants that will be low-cost, environmentally responsible, and efficient.
And we look toward the day when each American child will get a pony of his or her own.
Oil and gas are cool
We support opening the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for energy exploration and development and ending the current Administration’s moratorium on permitting; opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for exploration and production of oil and natural gas; and allowing for more oil and natural gas exploration on federally owned and controlled land.
Fracking is cool
We will respect the States’ proven ability to regulate the use of hydraulic fracturing, continue development of oil and gas resources in places like the Bakken formation and Marcellus Shale, and review the environmental laws that often thwart new energy exploration and production.
Nuclear is cool
Nuclear energy … must be expanded.
Renewables are somewhat less cool
We encourage the cost-effective development of renewable energy, but the taxpayers should not serve as venture capitalists for risky endeavors.
Cap-and-trade totally sucks
In case you weren’t sure where the party stands:
[W]e oppose any and all cap and trade legislation.
EPA’s push to curb CO2 emissions totally sucks
We also call on Congress to take quick action to prohibit the EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations that will harm the nation’s economy and threaten millions of jobs over the next quarter century.
In fact, the entire EPA completely, absolutely, utterly sucks
The platform has a section devoted to “Reining in the EPA,” but the EPA hatred is so intense that it overflows into other sections. A portion of the platform focused on “The Restoration of Constitutional Government” accuses the Obama administration of “encouraging illegal actions by … the EPA.” And there’s more:
We will end the EPA’s war on coal …
We stand with growers and producers in defense of their water rights against attempts by the EPA … to expand jurisdiction over water, including water that is clearly not navigable.
no peril justifies the regulatory impact of … the EPA’s … overreaching regulation agenda.
Obama wants to make everyone live in studio apartments in grimy cities with nowhere to park
The current Administration [is pursuing] an exclusively urban vision of dense housing and government transit.
We should chop down more trees
Timber is a renewable natural resource, which provides jobs to thousands of Americans. All efforts should be made to make federal lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service available for harvesting.
We should be fretting about fertilizer
Not about the fact that it’s devastating our fisheries and aquatic zones. Rather, about the fact that we’re increasingly importing it instead of producing it right here in the USofA.
Our dependence on foreign imports of fertilizer could threaten our food supply, and we support the development of domestic production of fertilizer.
Gibson Guitars should not be oppressed
Here’s an odd one Plumer missed: the veiled defense of the Gibson Guitar Corp. for illegally using endangered hardwoods.
The Lacey Act of 1900, designed to protect endangered wildlife in interstate commerce, is now applied worldwide, making it a crime to use, in our domestic industries, any product illegally obtained in the country of origin, whether or not the user had anything to do with its harvesting. This unreasonable extension of the Act not only hurts American businesses and American jobs, but also subordinates our own rule of law to the legal codes of 195 other governments. It must be changed.
Last year, the feds caught Gibson making guitars out of illegally logged wood. Read: How Gibson Guitars made illegal logging a conservative cause célèbre and Gibson Guitars’ noble stand against the government ends with admission of wrong-doing.
The U.N. is out to get us
[Congress should] reject agreements whose long-range impact on the American family is ominous or unclear. These include … the various declarations from the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development [aka the Rio Earth Summit]. Because of our concern for American sovereignty, domestic management of our fisheries, and our country’s long-term energy needs, we have deep reservations about the regulatory, legal, and tax regimes inherent in the Law of the Sea Treaty … We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty
That’s not the wholesale smackdown of Agenda 21 that the Republican National Committee had recommended earlier this year, but mentioning the (non)issue at all moves the GOP platform one step closer to the tinfoil-hat zone. As does violent opposition to the just-not-very-threatening Law of the Sea Treaty.
Fie on population control and high-speed rail
What do these two things have in common? They’re both big wastes of money. From the section “Reining in Out-of-Control Spending, Balancing the Budget, and Ensuring Sound Monetary Policy”:
We suggest a tripartite test for every federal activity. … Against those standards we will measure programs from international population control to California’s federally subsidized high-speed train to nowhere, and terminate programs that don’t measure up.
More dissing of rail follows a few pages later:
Amtrak continues to be, for the taxpayers, an extremely expensive railroad. The public has to subsidize every ticket nearly $50. It is long past time for the federal government to get out of way and allow private ventures to provide passenger service to the northeast corridor. The same holds true with regard to high-speed and intercity rail across the country.
Teenagers don’t need to know about birth control
We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with abstinence education which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior.
The most powerful environmental policy is liberty
That’s a direct quote, actually.
The most powerful environmental policy is liberty, the central organizing principle of the American Republic and its people. Liberty alone fosters scientific inquiry, technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and information exchange. Liberty must remain the core energy behind America’s environmental improvement.
In case you couldn’t tell after reading everything above, Republicans loooove sustainability and conservation
We are the party of sustainable jobs and economic growth — through American energy, agriculture, and environmental policy. … We are as well the party of traditional conservation: the wise development of resources that keeps in mind both the sacrifices of past generations to secure that bounty and our responsibility to preserve it for future generations.
Good to know.