This evening, President Obama will speak at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. He will announce a robust set of executive actions and private sector commitments to accelerate America’s transition to cleaner sources of energy. In 2014, the US brought online as much solar energy every three weeks as it did in all of 2008, and the solar energy sector added jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy.
“While President Obama and the Democratic Party are discussing ways to move the country forward on clean energy, the Republican Party’s presidential candidates are too busy arguing with scientists about whether climate change is real.” – TJ Helmstetter, DNC spokesperson
Here’s what the Republican candidates have to say:
- Jeb Bush decried the “intellectual arrogance” of believers in man-made climate change. Bush also claimed that President Obama’s clean power plan would be a “job killer” despite evidence to the contrary.
- Marco Rubio said, “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.” That was rated False by PolitiFact, and a column in the Washington Post excoriated Rubio’s position as “not just cowardly but intellectually hollow” and “fails a basic test of leadership.” At the Koch summit, Rubio said proposed carbon rules would be “catastrophic.”
- Scott Walker claimed there “hasn’t been a noticeable change” in climate in the “last 15 to 20 years.” He thinks that President Obama’s clean power plan will be a “buzz saw” with “devastating impacts.”
- John Kasich called climate change “some theory that’s not proven” and called President Obama’s clean power plan “regulatory imposition.”
- Rand Paul is skeptical of climate change, saying “There is some question as to the validity of the science.”
- Ted Cruz said that government researchers were “cooking the books” on climate change and “data and facts don’t support it.”
- Chris Christie eliminated the state’s Office of Climate Change and cut funding for clean energy programs. He thinks that President Obama’s clean energy plan is “over-regulation.”
- Bobby Jindal questioned the role of humans in climate change “and what, if any, dangers that change presents for Americans.”
- Rick Perry claimed scientists were doubting climate change and accused scientists “to be manipulating this data.” Perry said that President Obama’s rules on climate change will “destroy the people of this country economically.”
- Rick Santorum said that President Obama’s clean power plan has is “not based on science” and is “like a quasi-religious crusade.”
- Mike Huckabee claims that President Obama’s new rules to regulate carbon emissions are somehow “a handout to Chinese businesses, Arab oil sheiks, Russian energy despots, and Washington insiders.”
In the meantime, hundreds of companies including Unilever, General Mills, Nestle, L’Oreal, Dannon, and SunEdison have endorsed President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
The head of the League of Conservation Voters said he’s “never been more proud of any President” on the day President Obama first announced the Clean Power Plan and today praised the President’s new announcement. The executive director of the Sierra Club said that the Clean Power Plan is “the most significant single action any President has ever taken” to address climate change.
The American Association of Pediatrics called the President’s Clean Power Plan “a welcome and needed step to help make the air we breathe safer and cleaner for children.” The American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the American Thoracic Society and many others also support the Clean Power Plan.