Deja Vu All Over Again

There’s a new GOP Platform, same as the old one.

It appears that the GOP won’t have a new platform this year. Instead, they’re going to stick with their 2016 platform. You could see that as steadfastness or a lack of new ideas. In the environmental arena, 2016 is still where the GOP is stuck today, celebrating fossil fuels and rejecting climate action.

Here are some key provisions from the 2016 Republican Platform.

Climate Change

  • “The Environmental Protection Agency has rewritten laws to advance the Democrats’ climate change agenda.”
  • “Climate change is far from the nation’s most pressing national security issue. This is the triumph of extremism over common sense, and Congress must stop it.”
  • “We will likewise forbid the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide, something never envisioned when Congress passed the Clean Air Act.
  • “We oppose any carbon tax.”
  • “We reject the agendas of both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.”
  • “We demand an immediate halt to U.S. funding for the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).”

Regulatory Policy

  • “[R]egulations are just another tax on the consumer . . . .”
  • “The government at every level must always pay just compensation [for] environmental regulations that destroy or diminish the property’s value.” [emphasis added]

Fossil Fuels

  • “The Democratic Party does not understand that coal is an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource. Those who mine it and their families should be protected from the Democratic Party’s radical anticoal agenda.”
  • “We support the enactment of policies to increase domestic energy production, including production on public lands, to counter market manipulation by OPEC and other nationally owned oil companies.”

Public Lands and Biodiversity

  • “The U. S. Forest Service, within the Department of Agriculture, controls around 200 million acres of land with enormous natural resources, especially timber, a renewable resource providing jobs for thousands of workers that should be used to the best economic potential for the nation.”
  • “[T]he Endangered Species Act (ESA) should not include species such as gray wolves and other species if these species exist elsewhere in healthy numbers in another state or country.”

Other parts of the GOP Platform haven’t aged so well, such as denouncing government deficits that they have now embraced. But the environmental provisions reflect exactly where the party stands.  They’re standing by two core principles: more fossil fuels, less environmental protection.



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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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