Statement from Heather Reams, Executive Director, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, on the October 7, 2020 Vice Presidential Debate:
“Tonight’s vice presidential debate was a turning point for climate change in U.S. political campaigns. Republicans are asked time and time again whether they believe in some aspect of climate science in order to try and paint them as out of touch with the general public. Vice President Pence did not take the bait. He spoke plainly, eloquently, and honestly about American leadership in clean air, clean water, lowering emissions, improving our national parks, and bringing back American power in global energy markets. He talked about American innovation, fracking, and natural gas as key enablers for emissions reduction, and driving our leadership in climate change mitigation.
“Republicans and Democrats don’t actually disagree over the fundamentals: we all want clean air, clean water, a healthy environment for our children, and a bright and growing economy for their future. Republicans just speak a different “love language” about it. Republicans rally for action by a glass half full stance – enacting the largest conservation legislation in generations, improving our farmland, feeding the world, and leaving it a better place. Republicans talk about innovation, rising to meet clear and present challenges, about a safe, secure and prosperous nation, and securing jobs at every level and in every state. In the climate arena, it’s clean energy jobs that will power the future, which is something that all Americans support, including the President and Vice President.
“Tonight Americans were presented a choice. On one side we saw a scolding attitude about climate change that would also cripple the economy, destroy American jobs, massively expand the federal government and spread California-style failures to the rest of the U.S. On the other, we saw optimism in American innovation and America’s free market economy, and a sincere belief in climate change but also in American leadership to solve one of the most complex issues of our time. This has a proven track record of curbing emissions while also expanding our national prosperity, growing job opportunities across the board, and helping stabilize global energy markets.
“Tonight it is clear: Americans no longer have to choose between protecting the environment and voting Republican.”