MEMO: GOP climate deniers take the stage: Here’s what you need to know ahead of the first Republican presidential debate.
To: Interested Parties
From: Climate Power
Date: August 22, 2023
Re: GOP climate deniers take the stage: Here’s what you need to know ahead of the first Republican presidential debate.
Tomorrow’s GOP debate will be a race to the bottom on issues like clean energy and climate action as candidates double down on their disgraceful records of climate denial and deception. Every single GOP presidential candidate wants to reverse progress made by the Biden Administration – including the more than 170,600 good paying clean energy jobs – in a misread of the American electorate, a majority of which supports climate action. Every GOP candidate has a history of minimizing or denying the reality of the climate crisis; collectively, the candidates have taken millions from the oil and gas industry, and their climate records show it:
- Donald Trump received nearly $15 million from the oil and gas industry in the 2020 election, and $1.3 million from the industry in the 2016 election.
- Ron DeSantis has taken more than $120,000 from the oil and gas industry over the course of his congressional career and over $1 million throughout his political career.
- Mike Pence accepted more than $120,000 from the oil and gas industry during his time as Governor, and more than $238,000 from the oil and gas industry during his congressional career.
- Tim Scott has accepted more than $873,000 from the oil and gas industry over the course of his congressional career.
- Nikki Haley has accepted more than $124,000 from the oil and gas industry over the course of her political career.
Climate change isn’t coming, it’s here – and it’s now at our kitchen tables. Families and workers in every corner of the country are scrambling to deal with more extreme weather as wildfires and heat waves ravage the nation, but Republican candidates continue to deny the deadly realities of climate change, leaving their communities to figure it out alone.
- Ron DeSantis rejected $377 million in clean energy funding for Florida from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
- Vivek Ramaswamy indicated that climate and clean energy won’t even make his list of priorities should he win, calling climate change a “hoax” not backed by data.
- Mike Pence said “I don’t know” when asked directly about whether humans are causing climate change.
- Donald Trump has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax” and “bullshit,” and has cast doubt upon established climate science since at least 2010, claiming the “science doesn’t know” about climate change.
The climate crisis is no longer a hypothetical issue – it’s impacting voters every single day. Still, the GOP is still working to roll back programs aimed to combat climate change, a position that is out of touch with a vast majority of Americans, who want to see action taken and approve of the initiatives in President Biden’s clean energy plan. Polling shows:
- 81% of Democrats, 62% of Independents, and 51% of Republicans say that the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events are kitchen-table issues in their households.
- 3-in-4 Americans (74%) say they do not trust Republicans to address climate change.
- 70% of Americans say the next President should favor government action to address climate change – including 71% of Independents and 51% of Republicans.
- 1-in-2 young Americans (18-29) say that the government should do even more to curb climate change.
- Two-thirds of Republicans under age 30 (67%) prioritize the development of alternative energy sources over expansion of oil and gas production.