Republican members of Congress chose to hold the first public event for their new climate plan in the country’s No. 1 oil-producing county, in New Mexico, and before an audience of people who work in the oil industry.
This is a climate plan that involves producing much more oil and gas.
It was immediately pilloried by environmental advocates and Democrats as evidence that Republicans want to say they’re doing something about climate change but are not serious about addressing the real problems.
But at this local government conference room in Hobbs, New Mexico, on Thursday afternoon, the people around the table talked about how the country needs to take a realistic approach to reducing emissions while also promoting economic growth. The discussion was likely a test run for the arguments that Republicans will make about energy and climate in the runup to the midterm elections in November.
“I want to be clear on this: I’m fully supportive of moving in the direction of renewable energy,” said U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), who leads the Energy, Climate and Conservation Task Force for the House GOP.