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All should support making things in this country.

It is entirely noncontroversial for policymakers and political leaders to say that we should make more things in America. That is, except for one notable group: environmentalists. The narrative in mainstream environmental circles is that America and our capitalist system are the cause of all of our society’s ills, up to and especially climate change. The problem with this is that the data don’t back it up. In fact, the best thing we could do to reduce global emissions would be to boost cleaner domestic manufacturing and energy production. Young conservatives like me deeply care about the environment, and it frustrates us to no end that Republican leaders are not screaming this from the rooftops. The establishment GOP is afraid of two things when they avoid addressing climate and the environment: that their solutions are insufficient compared to Democrats’, and that they will be attacked in a primary as too moderate. College Republicans across the country are proving this wrong, and with the recent election’s massive youth turnout, party leaders would be wise to take the issues important to us seriously for general elections as well.

I think her statement can be debated but I don’t mind manufacturing but I don’t want to endanger citizens.

Here in America and Louisiana, manufacturers are highly carbon-efficient. Simply put, we make goods with far lower emissions than almost any country in the world. Compared to China and Russia, our industries are an average of three to four times cleaner. The often-attacked chemicals industry is 10% to 40% cleaner than its competitors abroad. Domestic oil and gas, due to stronger environmental standards, produce significantly less pollution than oil produced in places like Venezuela and Russia. So when Democrats are begging bad actors for energy, why are we as Republicans not pointing out that this makes no economic or political sense, and is absurd from an environmental perspective? This is exactly what we are looking for from our representatives in Congress. We have grown weary of seeing the GOP answering the far left’s climate extremism by simply saying “not that,” with no alternative or explanation for their opposition. We need to go on offense, putting the left’s solutions to the test by proposing better ones. Thankfully, Louisiana’s congressional delegation has started to embrace this posture, with U.S. Reps. Garret Graves of Baton Rouge and Steve Scalise of Jefferson Parish consistently calling out the radicalism of the left and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge advocating for policies that would level the playing field with China on climate. We need a cohesive, national narrative from the GOP, however.

We may be the best but we can do better and industry should not fight all efforts to clean up.

Specifically, we need to embrace what is called “America’s Carbon Advantage”: the reality that the American economy is significantly cleaner than our competitors. By embracing an America-first solution like a carbon tariff or border carbon adjustment, we can both level the playing field on trade and win a massive political victory that creates a clear alternative for the disastrous climate ideas of the left. If we don’t, we will end up allowing the activists on our college campuses to decide our energy future. Of course, there is always a political concern when it comes to addressing certain issues, and elected officials rationally think about risk. Traditionally, “climate change” has always been associated with the left, and it was assumed that even by talking about it, Republicans running for office would be seen as a Republicans in Name Only and primaried from the right. However, in recent years, voters have clearly decided they don’t think protecting the environment is at odds with conservatism.

The republicans have a history of environmentalism.

The GOP has a history of conservation, from Teddy Roosevelt’s national parks program to George H.W. Bush addressing the acid rain crisis. Three-fourths of Republicans under age 40 want action on climate change, and Republicans in Congress who joined the Conservative Climate Caucus actually performed better in primaries than two years ago. This should be exactly how Republicans talk about climate change: Climate change is worth taking seriously, which means we should hold the biggest polluters accountable and put America first. If it is truly an existential crisis, why aren’t we addressing the more than 85% of emissions that come from abroad? It is because the environmental left does not truly take the issue seriously, they see it merely as an opportunity to implement their Green New Deal agenda. Conservatives have a unique opportunity to hold them to account, secure a political win and embrace a robust climate agenda that embraces American energy and manufacturing the way our country desperately needs. Rachel Howard is chairwoman of the National Federation of College Republicans and national committeewoman for the Louisiana Federation of College Republicans. She lives in Lafayette.

I can agree with some of what she says and I am glad that we can both discuss this further.

Conservatives should support addressing climate change
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