John Curtis leads Republicans in launch of Conservative Climate Caucus
In this screenshot taken from video, U.S. Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, to announce the formation of the Conservative Climate Caucus.
FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, Republican Reps. Chris Stewart, left, and John Curtis talk during an Utah Republican election night party in Sandy, Utah. Curtis is leading a new Conservative Climate Caucus for House Republicans. The group wants to educate fellow Republicans about global warming and develop market-based policies to counter Green New Deal and other Democratic proposals. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
From left, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and Rep. Blake Moore look on during a tour of ancient dwellings along the Butler Wash trail at the Bears Ears National Monument Thursday, April 8, 2021, near Blanding, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)
U.S. Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, speaks during a town hall at the Nebo School District administrative offices in Spanish Fork on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.
U.S. Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, announced on Wednesday the formation of the Conservative Climate Caucus, which will offer conservative solutions to climate change and other environmental issues.
Standing outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning with a half dozen of his GOP colleagues, Curtis described the caucus as “a place for Republicans to advance serious climate solutions that do not ask them to leave their conservative values at the door.”
“Those who watch this caucus will see Republicans do care about this earth, deeply,” said Curtis, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who has long argued that conservatives need to embrace environmental issues. “We too want to leave this earth better than we found it.”
The primary goal of the conservative caucus, according to Curtis, “is to bring members of the Republican Party together to educate each other on climate policies that will make real progress in reducing emissions throughout America and around the world.”
The Conservative Climate Caucus is made up of over 50 federal Republican lawmakers from Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Washington, California, Florida, Oregon, Oklahoma and other states. Utah Reps. Burgess Owens, Chris Stewart and Blake Moore are all members.
Moore, who represents Utah’s 1st Congressional District, spoke at Wednesday’s press conference and praised Northern Utah’s energy industry, noting that “we cannot continue to vilify our industry that has taken on this challenge, that acknowledges the need to address this.”
“They are working on this, they are staying out ahead of this,” Moore said. “They are trying to lead the world in addressing this challenge. And so we’ve been doing this for a really long time. And so while I’m extremely appreciative of formalizing this today, which is a very, very important step, we’ve already been doing this.”
Other lawmakers expressed similar desires to make climate change a Republican issue, including Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse, who thanked Curtis for “gathering us to help amplify a very important message: that conservatives care about our climate and conservatives care about our environment.”
“More often than not, conservatives, Republicans (and) whole communities across rural America are not given the credit when it comes to their conservation efforts and their stewardship of our lands and our natural resources,” he said.
Newhouse went on to criticize Democrats for “socialist agendas like the Green New Deal” and “false promises that simply cannot be kept.”
“We know what it means to lead with our actions, not just our words,” he said, adding that the caucus “lays the groundwork for a climate agenda that limits the strong arm of the federal government, empowers the free market and is rooted in the individual freedom that is guaranteed by the American dream.”
The newly formed caucus received endorsements from a number of conservative groups on Wednesday, including Americans for Tax Reform, the American Conservation Coalition, the American Petroleum Institute, the Conservative Energy Network and the National Taxpayers Union.