GOP rep: Congress should focus more on climate change

GOP rep: Congress should focus more on climate change
© Greg Nash

A Republican lawmaker is pushing Congress to focus more on climate change, calling it “one of the major challenges of our time."

In a Miami Herald op-ed, Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloLatino advocacy group targets 7 Republicans in push against ObamaCare replacement GOP rep ‘concerned’ about EPA chief’s climate comments Florida lawmaker: Castro's death lifts 'psychological burden' MORE (Fla.) said lawmakers need to a better job of focusing on ways to cut carbon emissions, invest in clean energy and combat climate change. 

ADVERTISEMENT
“To view climate change through partisan lenses only detracts from efforts to discover practical solutions,” Curbelo wrote over the weekend. “This debate should not devolve into a petty competition between Republicans and Democrats.”

Curbelo said lawmakers should look to encourage the expansion of clean energy and provide tax incentives to develop solar, wind and hydropower. 

But he warned that the focus should be “market-based as opposed to one driven by an increase in top-down government regulation.”

“Enacting policies that encourage the private sector to invest, not only in general infrastructure projects, but long-term visionary technologies, will lead to economic prosperity and environmental sustainability,” he wrote. 

Curbelo was one of 11 House Republicans, out of 247, to sponsor a resolution last month recognizing humans’ role in causing climate change and pushing for more action to address global warming. The resolution didn’t endorse specific proposals, however.

At the same time, GOP-leaning voters are warming to the idea of human-caused climate change. 

In a poll released last week by the University of Texas at Austin, 59 percent of Republicans said they accept the science behind climate change, the highest proportion since the survey began, Bloomberg reported

But GOP voters have yet to coalesce around ways to address the issue. Only a quarter of respondents support a tax on carbon emissions, though half said they would be more likely to back a presidential candidate who supports requiring utilities to get more of their power from renewable sources.