Timothy Carney

Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

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Opinion

Democrats use climate change issues to help sell liberal agenda

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Timothy Carney

Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

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According to a January survey, only 12% of Republicans say dealing with climate change should be a top priority for the president and Congress, ranking the issue last among the 20 included in the survey. By contrast, 59% of Democrats say climate change should be a top priority for the president and Congress. While Democrats may be eager to make climate change a larger part of their agenda, Republicans are clearly less inclined to do so.

Watch the above video as Straight Arrow News contributor Tim Carney argues that Democrats use climate change as a political excuse to enact a broader liberal agenda. Carney asserts that New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s about-face on congestion pricing is one example proving his point.


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The following is an excerpt from the above video:

In May, Hochul announced massive pork barrel spending, $300 million, in order to combat the effects of climate change. Governors love nothing more than massive pots of money that they can use for local pet projects, where they can then hang their name as taxpayer-funded reelection signs.

But a couple of weeks later, when Hochul was presented with an idea to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, she put the kibosh on it. Democrats had approved a plan for congestion pricing — basically, charging drivers a hefty toll for bringing their cars into Lower Manhattan. This would push commuters towards public transit and carpooling, obviously a win in the fight for the climate. But congestion pricing would also upset some voters in Long Island where Democrats are defending a tough congressional seat. So the climate is important, but not important enough to endanger the reelection of a Democratic incumbent.

Likewise, Joe Biden touts himself as the greatest climate president ever, yet he’s slapping tariffs on Chinese solar panels. Making solar energy more expensive will drive more electric generation to fossil fuels. Why would he do that? Because the domestic solar companies are his political allies, and Biden wants to campaign on protecting American jobs from foreign manufacturers.

Democrats, it turns out, want to battle climate change, as long as it doesn’t cost them anything.

Most Americans believe climate change is real, is caused by humans and is harmful. And yet, most Americans would not be willing to pay $10 a month to slow climate change. Democratic politicians, it turns out are just like the average American. President Biden, along with the governor’s congressmen and senators in his party, talk endlessly about the threat of climate change, rising oceans, forest fires, hurricanes, less tasty beer, but look beyond their words at their proposed actions. And you see an interesting pattern. Democrats proposed responses to climate change are all the things they always wanted to do anyway. Liberals always want more government control over individuals and businesses. And so they say the solution to climate change is more government control over individuals and businesses. Democrats love subsidies for their corporate friends and regulations for everyone. And guess what they propose in their climate plans. Socialist author, Naomi Klein was explicit about this approach. Forget everything you think you know about global warming, Klein argued in 2018 book, The Real Inconvenient Truth is that it’s not about carbon. It’s about capitalism. The convenient truth she wrote, is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better. That is the leftist who wants to dismantle capitalism, see climate change as the perfect excuse to do so. The Democratic establishment has more modest goals. They want to intertwine industry and government more closely in order to give the political class more power. Again, climate change provides the excuse for this corporatism. How do we know climate is just an excuse? Because when their political priorities clash with fighting climate change, they always choose their political priorities. Consider New York Governor Kathy Hinkle in May hopeful announce massive pork barrel spending $300 million in order to combat the effects of climate change. Governors love nothing more than massive pots of money that they can use for local pet projects where they can then hang their name as taxpayer funded reelection signs. But a couple of weeks later, when Hoka was presented with an idea to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, she put the kibosh on it. Democrats had approved a plan for congestion pricing. Basically, charging drivers a hefty toll for bringing their cars into Lower Manhattan. This would push commuters towards public transit and carpooling, obviously, a win in the fight for the climate. But congestion pricing would also upset some voters in Long Island where Democrats are defending a tough congressional seat. So the climate is important, but not important enough to endanger the reelection of a Democratic incumbent. Likewise, Joe Biden touts himself as a greatest climate president ever he had he slapping tariffs on Chinese solar panels, making solar energy more expensive, will drive more electric generation to fossil fuels. Why would he do that? Because the domestic solar companies are his political allies. And Biden wants to campaign on protecting American jobs from foreign manufacturers. Democrats, it turns out, want to battle climate change, as long as it doesn’t cost them anything.

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