The effort, according to Axios, is being spearheaded by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., alongside Reps. Garret Graves, R-La., and Bruce Westerman R-Ark. McCarthy held a caucus event on climate change Thursday, and appears to be taking action that counters critics who believe the GOP is not concerned with environmental issues.
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“If you look at this conference today, we just had a whole event talking about the environment, not because someone is driving us but because we care about it,” he told Axios.
The proposed policies reportedly focus on three particular efforts. The first is the capturing of carbon dioxide emissions. Part of this includes what is being called the Trillion Trees Act, whereby legislation would look to increase the number of trees in the U.S., with the goal of using them for “sequestering” carbon. The congressmen are also looking to expand tax credits for companies that capture and store carbon dioxide.
The plan does not include emissions targets that are favored by Democrats. Graves claimed that setting “arbitrary targets” would be “a mistake.”
The second part of the plan is the promotion of clean energy technology by doubling investment in clean air research and lowering taxes for companies that export clean air tech. Nuclear power and natural gas are also featured in the plan.
The third area of focus is conservation, especially when it comes to plastic. This includes cleaning up pollution from plastic, urging government labs to develop improved recycling methods, and directing foreign aid to nations whose rivers suffer the most from plastic pollution.
The Green New Deal, pushed by lawmakers including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., takes a more far-reaching approach, with Sanders calling for a “wholesale transformation of our society” in which transportation and the economy are overhauled.