Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal on Tuesday bashed liberals who he says are using climate change to further their own agenda.
“For some on the left, climate change is simply a Trojan horse. It’s a way for them to come in and make changes to our economy that they would otherwise want to make,” he said during a speech hosted by the Heritage Foundation.
"It’s an excuse for the government to come in and try to tell us what kind of homes we live in, what kind of cars we drive, what kind of lifestyles we can enjoy. It’s an excuse for some who never liked free-market economies and never liked rapid economic growth."
While the Louisiana governor did not dispute that man-made climate change is happening, he urged “no regrets” climate policies that do not harm the United States’ economic standing around the world.
Jindal, who is seen as a contender for the White House in 2016, made the remarks while unveiling a comprehensive energy and environmental platform aimed at freeing fossil fuels and other energy sources from the Obama administration’s policies.
The governor framed his presentation as a choice between billions of dollars of economic benefit and continued economic ruin, and said his proposal is needed to turn America into an “energy superpower.”
“Do we harness the energy resources that are here in our country to grow our economy, to create good-paying jobs, to lower the cost of energy for our people,” Jindal asked in his speech.
“Or do continue in our current path, where we make energy more expensive, more scarce? Where we continue to export good-paying manufacturing, energy-intensive jobs to other countries around the world, where we actually hurt our economy,” he continued.
Jindal’s plan centers on six wide-ranging principals, broken down into 42 specific proposals.
Most of the proposals have received strong conservative support in the past.
Jindal wants to immediately approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline to transport petroleum from Canada’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, dramatically increase offshore drilling for oil and gas and fossil fuel production on federal lands and stop any potential federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
But he also wants to lift the decades-old ban on exporting crude oil, an idea that has limited support within the Republican Party.
“Lifting the ban on crude oil exports would create a million new jobs,” he said. “I think that we can export our [liquefied natural gas]; we can export our crude without hurting our market share at home. We could actually provide more jobs, more investment.”
He repeatedly bashed Obama’s policies, calling him and the Democrats “science deniers” for what they use to justify their rules.
Jindal said Obama’s hostility toward oil and gas could be seen on federally owned land.
“This administration’s been so hostile to the oil and gas industry, we’ve actually seen oil production on federal lands go down over 6 percent from 2009, while going up 61 percent on private and state lands,” he said. Natural gas saw a similar spread in the same time period.
Jindal’s proposal, outlined in a 48-page report released Tuesday, came from America Next, an advocacy group he chairs.
The energy report is the group’s second venture. In April, Jindal drafted a plan to replace ObamaCare in ways that he said aligned with conservative principals.
— This story was last updated at 1:51 p.m.