The Daily Beast

These Republicans Are Tiptoeing Toward a Green New Deal

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty

If you had told climate activists a year ago that the country was on the cusp of $25 billion for electric transmission lines and a smart grid, $7.5 billion for charging stations and $3.5 billion to help weatherize the homes of low-income homeowners, they would have been ecstatic. These are the kind of big-bucks investments they’d been pleading for years without much success and now, defying the odds, a bipartisan group of senators working with the White House is positioned to deliver.

The federal government should have been making climate investments on this scale for the last decade to reach the agreed-upon goal: a clean, carbon-free economy by 2050. Progressives will demand more than a political system rigged in favor of the status quo can deliver, but we’re closer to getting real action on climate than ever before. Too much time has been lost already but this year, 2021, marks the beginning of the end of climate denial as a winning political issue, and a new urgency about the health of the planet

With extreme back-to-back weather events capturing headlines and the fossil fuel industry in retreat, fewer Republicans have the chutzpah to claim that climate change is a hoax invented by China, as Donald Trump did. Fifty-two Republicans, almost a quarter of the House caucus, joined a GOP-only Climate Caucus formed last month to get up to speed on the rapidly escalating challenge and help educate others on how addressing climate change can mesh with conservative principles.

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