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Democrats Make Climate Change a Signature of Their Convention: Voters Yawn

Our friends at the Competitive Enterprise Institute just released an analysis of the Republican and Democratic Party platforms on energy and climate issues. The analysis shows there is a stark difference between the two Parties, a difference that shows Democrats are strangely out of synch with public opinion on this issue. 

While climate change was a major theme of the Democratic National Convention, a major survey earlier this year found only 9.2 percent of Americans rank global warming as their biggest concern. The top concern was – you guessed it – Islamic terrorism. 

WindmillsThe Democratic Party officially adopted their 2016 platform at their national convention in Philadelphia on July 25th. The energy and environment section is titled “Combat Climate Change, Build a Clean Energy Economy, and Secure Environmental Justice.” It begins with this statement: “Climate change is an urgent threat and the defining challenge of our time.” 

The Democratic platform pointedly mentions twice that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has called climate change a “hoax.” Trump has also promised to stop funding the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Treaty.  

Democrats, on the other hand, “are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II.” Mobilization will begin in the first 100 days of the next administration when “the President will convene a summit of the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, policy experts, activists, and indigenous communities to chart a course to solve the climate crisis.” 

In addition to supporting corporate disclosure of climate risk, “Democrats also respectfully request the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies accused of misleading shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change,” thereby endorsing the “lawfare” warfare Democratic Attorneys General are currently waging against think tanks and corporations that question liberal climate change orthodoxy. 

For the complete CEI analysis of the Democratic Platform’s energy and climate change provisions click here.  

The Republican Party Platform takes an entirely different approach to energy and climate issues and one that is much more in synch with American opinion on the issues. 

The GOP platform states that the Paris Climate Treaty cannot bind the United States unless it is ratified by the Senate.  The party also demands immediate defunding of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in accordance with Public Law 103-236.  It opposes a carbon tax and subsidies for politically-favored types of energy. 

On regulations, the platform says Republicans will prohibit EPA from regulating carbon dioxide and repeal the “Clean Power” Plan.  It also vows to block the hydraulic fracturing rules, end the misuse of the Endangered Species Act to stop resource production, and reform the National Environmental Policy Act permitting process. 

Perhaps most interestingly, the Republican Party now officially supports dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency: “We propose to shift responsibility for environmental regulation to the states and to transform the EPA into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with structural safeguards against politicized science.”  In addition: “ We will strictly limit congressional delegation of rule-making authority, and require that citizens be compensated for regulatory takings.” 

On energy production, the platform contrasts its support for more domestic production of all types of energy (that don’t require subsidies) with the Democrats’ call to “keep it in the ground.”  It states that the “Democratic Party’s campaign to smother the U. S. energy industry takes many forms, but the permitting process may be its most dangerous weapon.”  Permitting delays for oil and gas production on federal lands are cited as the prime example. 

Further in regard to federal lands, for the first time, the Republican Party supports transferring federal lands (which comprise over 640 million acres or nearly 30% of the country) to the states. 

For the complete CEI analysis of the Republican Platform’s energy and climate change provisions click here.

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