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Republicans’ Climate Change Plan Is Big Oil’s Climate Change Plan

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On Monday, a pack of Republican Congressmen went public with a new suite of measures to fight global warming. Previewed by Axios, the plan is being heralded as a “sea change” in how the party thinks about the potential end of the world. On closer look, while the announcement shows how far climate activists have managed to shift the conversation in Washington, it’s also a package only a fossil fuel executive could love. It’s unlikely to pass, much less keep temperatures from rising.

Besides fossil fuels, climate denial has been one of America’s most noxious exports—much of it bankrolled by the fossil fuel industry itself, leaders of which were fully aware of their contribution toward global warming. Having first found a home in the Republican Party, talking points from denier groups like the Heartland and Competitive Enterprise Institutes are now popping up in the mouths of right-wing parties and governments from Germany to Australia. Many fossil fuel companies, though, also began to present themselves as part of the solution to climate change—a strategy which might, in theory, help avert more intense public or governmental attention.

Starting in the 1990s, European fossil fuel producers like Shell and BP looked to shape the face of climate and energy policy rather than go to war with it, working with big greens like the Environmental Defense Fund to push their preferred solutions—like carbon markets, rather than more stringent emissions regulations—at the national and international level. The social media of virtually every major oil company talks up their commitments to electric vehicles, wind and solar power and carbon pricing. Several fossil fuel companies are now signed onto efforts like the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which tout companies’ ability to self-regulate. The American Petroleum Institute (API)—a trade association for the oil and gas industry—has launched a climate-conscious ad buy dubbed We’re On It,........

© New Republic