xiv Preface
authority over federal public lands to states, so that states may determine and man-
age energy resources within their respective borders. The party also indicates that
public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf ought to be open for energy explora-
tion and production.
For the specific types of energy that the platform expects the states to develop,
the Republican Party lists an “all of the above” approach—encompassing fracking,
horizontal drilling, oil, coal, natural gas, wind, solar, biomass, biofuel, geothermal,
and tidal energy. According to the GOP, the responsibility for production ought
to be undertaken by “private capital,” while the states ought to retain regulatory
authority. Yet there are some regulations that a state could undertake that would
run afoul of the platform. For example, a simple yet informative declarative sen-
tence from the platform states, “We oppose any carbon tax.”
Environmental Progress
Environmental progress is a term that is meant to highlight the ever-increasing envi-
ronmental standards the United States has seen in the past few decades, while argu-
ing that other considerations, such as economic costs, ought to be factored into
new decisions regarding environmental regulation. One of the first plank topics is
endangered species, another topic that Republicans tend to communicate more to
their constituents than Democrats do. The platform says, “The Endangered Species
Act should not include species . . . if these species exist elsewhere in healthy num-
bers in another state or country.” This statement reflects a long-standing Republi-
can concern that Democratic presidents and lawmakers seek to put more animals
on the endangered species list than is merited by other calculations; this platform
concern is repeatedly highlighted in the communications of Republican represen-
tatives from Kansas, Wyoming, Alabama, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
As for the impact of international agreements on environmental standards
within the United States, the Republican platform flatly states, “We reject the agen-
das of both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.” This is a sentiment that
most current members of the GOP adhere to, and there exists very little diversity of
opinion on this issue of international agreements and the role they ought to play in
shaping domestic environmental policies. Not only is Republican distaste for such
agreements rooted in aversion to international interference in domestic policy, but
congressional Republicans also generally share a skepticism surrounding the sci-
entific consensus that anthropogenic climate change is a genuine phenomenon.
Diversity within the Party
There are a few environmental issues within the Republican Party that split opin-
ions. These divisions mostly center on states’ rights versus federal rights, geneti-
cally modified organisms, and land conservation.
A vote in 2016 on a Republican-sponsored bill to create new federal standards
to label GMO food products passed in the U.S. House of Representatives 306–117,
but 36 Republicans split from their party to vote against the bill and then sought to
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