Republicans say Biden energy plan will help GOP in rust belt states

Republicans say Biden energy plan will help GOP in rust belt states
© Greg Nash

Top Republicans are looking to target presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe Biden2020 Democratic Party platform endorses Trump's NASA moon program Don't let Trump distract us from the real threat of his presidency Abrams: Trump 'doing his best to undermine our confidence' in voting system MORE’s $2 trillion climate and infrastructure plan, expressing confidence the former vice president’s position on issues like fracking will give them an edge in the rust belt states heading into November. 

Biden unveiled his ambitious plan to make electricity generation carbon-free by 2035 on Tuesday.

This plan follows his existing $5 trillion climate plan that incorporates elements of the Green New Deal, a progressive policy spearheaded by firebrand freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez,200 may be enough in Mitch McConnell's hometown of Louisville, but not in most US cities Democrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Progressives lost the battle for the Democratic Party's soul MORE (D-N.Y.). However, Republicans have repeatedly bashed the Green New Deal as a socialist takeover in their messaging strategy. 

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During a Trump campaign call on Tuesday featuring House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseFive takeaways from Fauci's testimony Trump is wrong on census memo — but has a point Trump hits 'Stone Cold' Democrats over push to undo travel ban MORE (R-La.) and Rep. Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyMultiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 Trump may have power, but he still has no plan to fight the pandemic MORE (R-Pa.), the lawmakers told reporters they believe climate and energy are winning issues for Republicans in key states necessary in retaining the White House and down ballot.

Biden’s proposal is a sharp contrast to President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE's policies.

Democrats have repeatedly attacked the GOP for not prioritizing an agenda to combat climate change, but Republicans argue Biden’s plan to shift away from the country’s reliance on fossil fuels will be off-putting to swing voters in states that rely on natural gas and oil jobs. 

“We have hundreds of thousands of jobs — over 250,000 jobs would be lost, under Joe Biden's Green New Deal energy plan. You would see higher energy costs, and you would see who gets hit the hardest — it’s low-income families," Scalise said during the call. 

Scalise also took a swing at Biden over Solyndra, the solar manufacturer that received $535 million in stimulus dollars in 2009 recovery package before going bankrupt, arguing the policies laid out would lead to an influx of similar instances.

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“We'll see Solyndras all across the nation — failed energy policy, which would lead to higher energy costs and lost jobs. And what I represent Southeast Louisiana, and our economy, we've been very active in the production of energy,” Scalise said.  

Kelly echoed Scalise’s sentiments, adding that he believes the shift away from fossil fuels and fracking could have negative implications in unexpected areas.  

"If Joe Biden really cared about Pennsylvania, why would he proposed killing over 600,000 jobs that are supported by fracking in a state that's provided stability and health care to families across the state."

Senior Biden campaign officials told reporters that the former vice president opposes any new fracking on public lands during a call on Tuesday. 

While recent polls show Biden ahead of Trump in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, the lawmakers said they believe after the nominating conventions, the focus will shift away from the coronavirus pandemic onto other policy areas.

“Keep in mind Joe Biden is not officially the Democratic nominee yet, so you know, just as the Democrats were moving through their nominating process, a global pandemic broke out so the country's focus is clearly right now on the pandemic. And so polls don't really tell you what's going to happen,” Scalise said.  

“In October, the race will clearly tighten when there's debates when you can see the contrast. And so, Pennsylvania voters are going to be able to see real soon what Joe Biden's proposed policies would be on fracking contrasted with President Trump's pro-energy agenda, and it's a clear contrast.”

Biden’s camp asserts his climate plan won’t have a negative impact on the job market, with it laying out a goal of creating at least 250,000 jobs in the energy sector.  

Rachel Frazin contributed.