Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — GOP “it” boy, climate denier, dry-mouth sufferer — gave the official Republican response to the State of the Union address on Tuesday night. His speech included some whining about climate action:
When we point out that no matter how many job-killing laws we pass, our government can’t control the weather — [Obama] accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air.
One of the best ways to encourage growth is through our energy industry. Of course solar and wind energy should be a part of our energy portfolio. But God also blessed America with abundant coal, oil and natural gas. Instead of wasting more taxpayer money on so-called “clean energy” companies like Solyndra, let’s open up more federal lands for safe and responsible exploration. And let’s reform our energy regulations so that they’re reasonable and based on common sense.
Now that’s Rubio’s gone all establishment, the Tea Party turned to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to deliver its SOTU rebuttal. This line toward the top of the speech might have seemed promising:
The path we are on is not sustainable, but few in Congress or in this Administration seem to recognize that their actions are endangering the prosperity of this great nation.
But he didn’t mean that kind of sustainable.
Paul did not directly address energy or climate change, but he tossed off lots of anti-regulation, anti-tax, anti-gubmint lines:
With my five-year budget, millions of jobs would be created by cutting the corporate income tax in half, by creating a flat personal income tax of 17%, and by cutting the regulations that are strangling American businesses. …
We will stand up against excessive government power wherever we see it. …
America has much greatness left in her. We will begin to thrive again when we begin to believe in ourselves again, when we regain our respect for our founding documents, when we balance our budget, when we understand that capitalism and free markets and free individuals are what creates our nation’s prosperity.
So, who wins? Rubio or Paul? Jeez, hard call …
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