Op-ed: Buddy Carter’s Commonsense Climate Leadership Benefits Georgia, U.S.

Savannah Morning News published an op-ed by CRES President Heather Reams highlighting Rep. Buddy Carter’s energy and climate leadership.

Georgia’s energy and climate leadership is being recognized worldwide, and residents of the Peach State have a strong advocate in Congress and on the international stage in Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.)

Rep. Carter was recently named Chairman of the Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Minerals Subcommittee of the prestigious House Energy & Commerce Committee (E&C), which works to provide affordable, reliable and clean energy to families and businesses across the United States. Additionally, he was named vice chair of the Conservative Climate Caucus – a growing group of more than 80 Republicans in Congress working to educate lawmakers and the public about commonsense, free-market climate solutions.  

As president of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES), a nonprofit organization that advocates for conservative clean energy policies, and chair of the Conservative Climate Foundation (CCF), an organization founded to support right-of-center climate activities, I have the honor of working with Rep. Carter on a number of energy and environment issues. I have seen firsthand that Rep. Carter understands how conservative, all-of-the-above energy and climate policies benefit Georgia and the United States. 

Georgia embodies an all-of-the-above portfolio, thanks to Republican leaders in Georgia like Rep. Carter. The country’s first new nuclear facility in a generation recently came online at Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro. Further, the state is rapidly becoming a clean energy manufacturing powerhouse, with $2.8 billion in new solar manufacturing investments and $26 billion in new battery supply chain investments, alongside established leadership in electric vehicle manufacturing. 

It comes as no surprise that Georgia was named the No. 1 state for business by Area Development Magazine. But this manufacturing boom isn’t just good for the state’s economic development or reputation. Goods manufactured in the U.S. are 40% more carbon efficient than the world average. Our carbon efficiency is three times that of China and more than four times that of Russia, according to CRES research. 

In December, I traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with CCF to attend the U.N. climate change conference (COP28), where world leaders discussed global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Republican voices have not historically been present at the COP. However, I am proud to report E&C convened the first Republican-led official member delegation. As part of the delegation, Rep. Carter saw firsthand the important role the United States plays in the global energy landscape and shared our conservative message: U.S. leadership is key to reducing global emissions. 

Thanks to American innovation and a commitment to leaving our planet better than we found it, the United States has reduced carbon emissions by nearly one billion tons – more than the next several countries combined since 2005. 

On a panel I moderated at the COP28 U.S. Center, Rep. Carter highlighted this leadership, stating, “It is important for [America] to be a world leader. It’s important for us to share our knowledge, our expertise and our innovation.”

I couldn’t agree more, and we need to look no further than Georgia as an example.  

In order to keep up this momentum, Rep. Carter understands we need crucial reforms from Congress. We must modernize our permitting processes for new clean energy development to create certainty for investors, who bring jobs to Georgia, and get projects off the ground. We must onshore critical mineral supply chains, so we aren’t reliant on countries with weak environmental protections for the supplies we need to continue developing clean energy technologies. And we must continue to support U.S. manufacturers by encouraging the adoption of low-carbon technologies and removing burdensome mandates that tie the hands of American innovators.   

In his new leadership positions, Rep. Carter is further empowered to ensure Georgia’s energy, environment and manufacturing priorities are heard in Washington and around the world. I look forward to continuing to work with him, E&C Republicans and the Conservative Climate Caucus to ensure the United States follows Georgia’s example and remains a global leader in emissions reduction.

Read the full op-ed here.

Heather Reams is the president of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES).

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