Nikki Haley & Climate Policy
She’s a departure from the GOP’s white male establishment. But on climate issues? Not so much.
Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign has gained a following. According to the NY Times, Haley’s performance “in front of crowds and in the first two Republican debates — during which she successfully fended off interruptions and delivered pithy, memorable one-liners — has delivered buzz, attention and money.” Unlike Trump, she’s not actively hostile to the very idea of renewable energy. But she shares his love of fossil fuels.
In the first debate, Haley had this to say: “Is climate change real? Yes, it is. But if you want to go and really change the environment, then we need to start telling China and India that they have to lower their emissions. That’s what our problem is.” She favors carbon capture and nuclear energy.
At the same time, she’s enthused about “American energy dominance,” which is the current reboot of “drill, baby, drill.” “My goal,” she says, “is to make America energy dominant. We shouldn’t play by anyone’s rules – not China, not Russia, not Iran, no one. We should make the world play by our rules – so that Americans win, every time!”. She has also accused Biden of crushing U.S. oil and gas under “an avalanche of mandates.” As to electric vehicles, she said on CNN in June that they’re “so heavy that our roads and bridges aren’t capable of handling that.”
Back when she was a governor, Haley was somewhat more supportive of renewable energy, at least by South Carolina standards. She signed an alternative energy bill that reduced obstacles for solar. “When you look at North Carolina and you look at Georgia, they’ve been doing well when it comes to solar energy,” Haley said. “And they don’t have any more sun than we do. So the goal is to always make sure, what are we doing? Never be satisfied, but what are we doing to move the ball forward.” But renewables no longer seem to figure in her statements about energy policy.
Fox Business summarized Haley’s current energy posture in September:
“Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has said she wants to pursue ‘an all-of-the-above energy plan that makes America energy dominant’ as part of an economic proposal she is calling ‘The Freedom Plan.’ Haley wants to empower domestic energy producers by expanding oil and gas production and reining in the regulatory bureaucracy that stands in the way.
“She has also called for the elimination of the Biden administration’s subsidies for green energy sources while easing the permitting processes for energy production projects, pipelines and power plants.”
Haley is a generation younger than Trump. If she represents the future of the Republican party, it appears the GOP remains locked into willful disregard of the imperatives of the climate crisis.