Climate change action: Understanding Republicans’ opposition

nevertheless that will’s still unlikely that will these irresistible forces will dislodge one of Washington’s most immovable objects: the steadfast resistance of President Donald Trump as well as virtually all congressional Republicans to seriously discussing, much less addressing, the risks associated with global climate change.

To many climate scientists as well as local officials, the stunning convergence of Irma as well as Harvey — two storms described as events that will might occur once every 500 years or more — has crystallized the growing threat of extreme weather events associated with global adjustments from the climate. Many climate scientists say the ferocity of these storms validated precisely their projections that will warming from the water as well as atmosphere, coupled with rising sea levels, could breed hurricanes with greater rain, wind, sea surge as well as flooding.
nevertheless the administration has rejected that will connection. In a revealing interview with CNN just before Irma hit, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt insisted, “To have any kind of focus on the cause as well as effect of the storm, versus helping people or actually facing the effect of the storm, is usually misplaced.” On Sunday, Trump, who has previously called climate change a “hoax,” ignored a question shouted at him coming from reporters about whether that will was contributing to the historic power as well as damage of the storms.
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nevertheless more important than either of these factors may be the geographic divide. coming from Congress through the White House, the Republican Party right now relies overwhelmingly on the states that will are the most deeply invested from the existing fossil fuel economy — thereby feel the most threatened by any initiative to reduce carbon emissions. that will includes not only the states that will produce the most fossil fuels like oil as well as coal, nevertheless also the Rust Belt states that will consume large quantities of coal-fired electricity for manufacturing.

Democrats, meanwhile, right now depend primarily on the states mostly along the two coasts that will produce little energy as well as have generally transitioned more rapidly toward an information-age as well as service-based, low-carbon economy. For each party, the economic interests of their core states reinforce their ideological inclinations.

These contrasting allegiances were vividly apparent in 2016 presidential race.

Trump beat Hillary Clinton in eight of the 10 states that will produce the most coal, according to federal Energy Department figures, including Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Montana, Texas, Indiana as well as North Dakota. from the top 10, Clinton carried only Illinois as well as brand new Mexico.

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Trump also beat Clinton in eight of the 10 states that will produce the most natural gas (losing only Colorado as well as brand new Mexico) as well as 13 of the top 16 (adding only California to her tally). Trump won seven of the 10 states that will produce the most oil as well as 21 of the top 25 (with only California, brand new Mexico, Colorado as well as Illinois breaking for Clinton).

Turning the lens coming from energy production to consumption, Trump also won 28 of the 34 states that will rely most heavily on electric power generated coming from coal. (Though low-cost, coal emits considerably more carbon per unit of heat generated than any alternative fuel.) The list of those coal-reliant states includes all of the manufacturing powerhouses across the Rust Belt, including Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin as well as Indiana. Of the 16 states that will rely the least on coal for electricity, Clinton won 14.

Figures coming from the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program show that will Trump similarly won 20 of the 27 states in which the share of jobs provided by manufacturing exceeds the national average; Clinton won 13 of the 23 states at or below the national average.

Perhaps the one figure that will best captures these trends in both energy production as well as consumption is usually the federal Energy Information Administration’s ranking of states based on their total emissions of carbon per person. that will ranking right now almost precisely follows the national political divide.

Trump carried 20 of the 21 states with the largest per capita carbon emissions, losing only brand new Mexico in that will group. (He routed Clinton in all 12 of the states at the very top of the list, including Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia, Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, Kentucky, Indiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa as well as Texas.) In all, Trump carried 27 of the 32 states that will emit the most carbon per person.

In stark contrast, Clinton carried 15 of the 18 states that will emit the least carbon per person. (She won the seven states with the absolute lowest per capita emissions, all of them along the coasts: California, brand new York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Oregon, Connecticut as well as Rhode Island.) Of the 18 states with the lowest per person emissions, Trump carried only Idaho, Florida as well as North Carolina.

These same lines of demarcation run through Congress. Republicans hold 32 of the 40 Senate seats coming from the 20 states with the highest per-person carbon emissions; Democrats hold 29 of the 36 from the 18 states with the lowest per-person carbon emissions. The 12 states in between are closely divided with Republicans holding 13 of their Senate seats as well as Democrats 11.

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Energy policy alone, of course, doesn’t determine these states’ loyalties. nevertheless the relative level of carbon emissions right now largely tracks the broader economic, cultural as well as demographic forces separating the parties. The high-carbon states — centered on the Plains, the Mountain West as well as portions of the South — tend to be more rural, more culturally traditional, less racially diverse as well as home to fewer immigrants than the low-carbon states. Most of the high-carbon states are also less urbanized, less affected by the transition to white-collar, post-industrial work, as well as more reliant on manufacturing employment.

Trump’s administration clearly reflects these loyalties. His appointments to the key energy as well as climate-related positions all came coming from high-carbon states: Indoor Secretary Ryan Zinke of Montana (which ranks sixth in per capita carbon emissions); Energy Secretary Rick Perry of Texas (which ranks 12th); as well as, at the EPA, Pruitt coming from Oklahoma (which ranks 10th).

All have moved systematically to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, such as EPA regulations mandating much better fuel efficiency coming from cars as well as trucks as well as reduced carbon emissions coming from power plants. Trump capped these efforts This kind of spring by withdrawing coming from the Paris global climate change agreement, putting the US alongside Syria as well as Nicaragua, the only two various other countries not joining the agreement.

Environmentalists believe This kind of summer’s confluence of catastrophic storms, like hurricanes Katrina as well as Sandy before them, will continue to consolidate a growing public consensus that will the climate is usually changing with dangerous implications. “Over time, the devastation likely leads to a shift from the debate,” says Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, a group that will often builds alliances with business. “I’m not saying that will happens This kind of week. nevertheless the parade of climate-related extreme weather events we’ve seen in recent years have moved public opinion, as well as Harvey as well as Irma are likely to continue that will long-term move toward climate realism. Sooner or later, the denial will collapse on Capitol Hill too.”
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nevertheless the resolute resistance by Republicans coming from high carbon-states could stalemate not only Democrats, as well as the environmental groups usually allied with them, nevertheless even Republicans coming from the areas increasingly worried about climate change. Over two dozen House Republicans, for instance, have joined a bipartisan “Climate Solutions Caucus,” nevertheless that will list does not include any of the GOP representatives coming from the biggest energy-producing states such as Texas, Oklahoma or the Mountain West (except for one GOP representative coming from the Denver suburbs.)
Likewise, just before Irma barreled into Florida, Tomas Regalado, the Republican mayor of Miami, virtually pleaded with Trump, Pruitt as well as congressional leaders to address the mounting dangers associated with global climate change. “This kind of is usually the time to talk about climate change,” Regalado told the Miami Herald. “This kind of is usually the time that will the President as well as the EPA as well as whoever makes decisions needs to talk about climate change. If This kind of isn’t climate change, I don’t know what is usually. This kind of is usually a truly, truly poster child for what is usually to come.”

nevertheless in a GOP still dominated by the states most heavily bound to the fossil fuel economy, Regalado might as well have been shouting into the hurricane wind.

Source : Climate change action: Understanding Republicans’ opposition