CRES in 2021: The Year in Review

For the first two decades of the twenty-first century, the narrative about how to address climate change has been defined mostly by leftists—not only in the United States, but worldwide. While they were busy peddling fear and offering wholly unfeasible plans like the $93 trillion Green New Deal, everyday conservatives and other working people were building out infrastructure for renewable resources as well as taking innovative approaches to produce abundant, cleaner-burning natural gas.  

The result? The Global Carbon Project (GCP) recently reported new data and analysis demonstrating that global carbon emissions have been flat and possibly even declined over the past ten years. While there were major reductions in the United States and Europe, the GCP claimed global growth in carbon emissions is primarily due to the growth in coal use in the power and industrial sectors in China. 

 That’s why 2021 will one day stand as the year Republicans in Congress redefined the narrative and seized the leadership role in defining energy and climate issues—by proposing realistic solutions and practical policies to continue reducing U.S. emissions while holding global polluters accountable. 

By the end of last year, the Republican-controlled House and Senate passed the Energy Act of 2020 which President Trump signed into law in January 2021. It marked the first comprehensive modernization of our nation’s energy policies in 13 years, and represented Republicans’ own “down payment” on climate policy, charting a course forward for American innovation and ingenuity with an all-of-the-above approach to solving the climate challenge.  

With the Energy Act as the catalyst, Republicans spent 2021 putting meat on the bones and crafting their own definitive legislative voice on the nation’s clean energy future. Early in the year, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wrote a comprehensive blog post expressing the GOP vision on energy and environmental leadership. The substance was far more than election-year posturing; it laid out a compelling case for commonsense solutions that have a real and lasting chance of breaking through. CRES Forum also published a list of Conservative Climate Policy Directives, which were developed in order to help policymakers and the public better understand ways in which policies can help reduce emissions while fostering future economic growth for generations to come. These policy directives informed our work on our Legislative Priorities document for the 117th Congress.  

But Republicans were just creating policies for the sake of legislating – they were doing it in direct response to voters. In February, CRES released its 2021 poll of voter sentiment on energy and climate change, which found that both Republican and Democrat voters showed strong enthusiasm for a further push to increase government support for clean energy development and meaningful, all-of-the-above climate solutions. This includes 74 percent of all Americans and 59 percent of Republicans; 82 percent of voters, including 78 percent of Republicans, approve of tax credits for individuals and companies to accelerate clean energy projects. 

 Over the next few days, we will publish blog posts summarizing quarterly successes of the GOP and CRES throughout 2021. It was a banner year for conservative on climate and we are excited to tout our collective success as we look back on this transformational year! Stay tuned!  

Stay updated with the latest news!