First Republican Debate Ignores Energy, Climate Issues, And Sanity

The Republican Debate basically ignored any environmental concerns altogether.

on August 07, 2015 at 4:46 PM

Fox Debate graphicThe Fox News Party hosted two thousand hours of Republican debate last night. For the most part, it was hilarious. I mean, it was terrifying if you think any one of these candidates will be elected with a mandate to start World War Three with Iran, Russian, and any country not doing what it’s supposed to be doing, but as a television show, it was fantastic.

If anything can be gleaned from the combined verbiage of 18 Republicans Presidential candidates across two debates held for the benefit of hardcore Republican voters, it’s that the Republican base doesn’t give a horse’s methane dropping about energy policy. Or climate change. Or any other environmental issue. There were more questions (and answers) about God than there were about the Earth He (allegedly) gave us to look after.

In the “JV Debate” — the one for candidates who did not make the top-ten cut for the prime-time telecast — somebody did ask Lindsey Graham what his approach to climate change would be, compared to likely Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. The Washington Examiner sums up Graham’s answer:

“Trust me,” he said, “we won’t be debating about the science” of climate change when up against Clinton. Instead, the debate will be on the “solution.”…

Graham immediately differentiated himself from Clinton by saying his rival would support “cap-and-trade” programs to limit emissions while hurting the economy. Instead, he would focus on “energy independence,” not an economy-wide program to limit carbon dioxide.

I mean, if you don’t think limiting carbon emissions is an important part of combating climate change, you are “debating about the science” of this issue.

Carly Fiorina — the consensus “star” of last night’s proceedings for her ability to criticize Hillary Clinton while wearing a bra — offered her suggestion that she’d “undo” the latest EPA regulations. Everybody assumes that she was referring to Obama’s Clean Power Plan. She said it would “harm the economy.” How? Why? Those are not questions the GOP ask themselves when debating each other.

In the main event, Obama’s massive plan to reduce carbon emissions didn’t even come up. The suit who was wearing a Jeb Bush mask had a throwaway line about Clinton not supporting the Keystone Pipeline. There should be a Godwin’s Law for the Keystone Pipeline: the longer a political conversation goes on, the probability that somebody reduces all energy policy concerns to “Keystone Pipeline” increases.

Later, one of the Facebook questions was whether a GOP president would defund the EPA, IRS, and Department of Education. This has become the reductive logic of the Republican Party: instead of coming up with effective environmental, educational, and tax policies, the candidates are instead asked if they would actually obliterate the agencies responsible for any regulation whatsoever.

That was pretty much it. Some people think that climate change is the biggest threat facing our way of life and our children’s future. Other people think that cheap, clean energy is a key to our security. And none of those people are running for president in the Republican party.

And the people who are going to vote for these guys are people who want to drill-baby-drill, but couldn’t identify the Department of Energy or the Department of the Interior if Ernest Moniz and Sally Jewell were having sex in the back of their truck.