5 Ways the GOP’s New Platform Fails the Environment

Written by Brian Merchant

The Republican Party just approved its 2012 platform at its national convention in Tampa, and predictably, it includes some decidedly anti-environment directives. So, I present to you a handful of the most notably reckless objectives the GOP has now enshrined into its official mission statement:

Stop the EPA from addressing climate change

From the GOP Platform’s text:

“We call on Congress to take quick action to prohibit the EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations that will harm the nation’s economy and threaten millions of jobs over the next quarter century. The most powerful environmental policy is liberty, the central organizing principle of the American Republic and its people. Liberty alone fosters scientific inquiry, technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and information exchange. Liberty must remain the core energy behind America’s environmental improvement.”

Bring on the coal

“Coal is a low-cost and abundant energy source with hundreds of years of supply. We look toward the private sector’s development of new, state-of-the-art coal-fired plants that will be low-cost, environmentally responsible, and efficient. We also encourage research and development of advanced technologies in this sector, including coal-to-liquid, coal gasification, and related technologies for enhanced oil recovery.”

Approve Keystone XL

“We are committed to approving the Keystone XL Pipeline and to streamlining permitting for the development of other oil and natural gas pipelines.”

Ban Agenda 21

This one might require some explaining: GOP is now officially unified in rejecting Agenda 21—a decades-old, entirely non-binding sustainability initiative signed by George H.W. Bush. It’s now the basis for the GOP’s third most rampant mainstream conspiracy theory; somewhere behind birtherism and death panels.

“We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty, and we oppose any form of U.N. Global Tax,” the Republican platform.

End high-speed rail and Amtrak funding

“It is long past time for the federal government to get out of the way and allow private ventures to provide passenger service to the Northeast Corridor. The same holds true with regard to high-speed and intercity rail across the country.”

There’s other stuff in there too—expand offshore drilling, push for more fracking, etc, none of which should surprise anyone familiar with modern Republican politics. If the GOP keeps this up, it may just live up to its ‘Most Anti-Environment Congress in History’ moniker after all.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Photo: Metro Transportation Library Archive/flickr


Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson5 years ago

Interestingly China is about to build 650, yes 650 new coal mines which will double the carbon in the air. Also interestingly all the jobs are going to China and they are free of the carbon tax scam. They don't have to pay because apparently they're a developing country.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for giving a very interesting info

Rosie Jolliffe
Rosie Lopez5 years ago

thank u!

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Marlene Dinkins

greg you are right !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but i do think that htis topic is caca!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Deborah Litster
Deborah Litster5 years ago


Cathy V.

On a higher level and more promising note, check out this article at Sierra Club on Obama's fuel-efficiency standards. A great example where helping the environment can help promote commerce and jobs!

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

We need to mitigate global warming to save agriculture from global warming. If we fail, it will be Soylent Green for real.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

Republicans are convinced that BIG BUSINESS knows best. Since BIG BUSINESS including BIG COAL and BIG OIL own the federal government, our only hope is if private philanthropy can somehow manage to raise enough money to do all of the following at once: Buy enough sustainable energy production capacity to replace fossil fuel, barter that production capacity for as much fossil fuel reserves in the form of quit claim deeds for reserves to be held underground for posterity as that production capacity displaces over the first thirty years it is held by the fossil fuel firms receiving it, capture with Global Thermostat and store in Enhanced Geothermal Systems enough of the excess CO2 now in atmosphere and ocean for them to get back to near normal, and massively bribe the fossil fuels to agree to all this to make the transition to sustainable energy even more profitable than business as usual to the old fossil fuel firms soon to turn into sustainable energy firms. Global warming is as big now as World War II was then. We spent as much on the war effort from lend lease before the war through the war itself and on through the Marshall plan after the war as we spent on the rest of the economy back then. We can do that again. Switching to sustainable energy from fossil fuel should be much more constructive than World War II was. We should have something better than some old battlefield monuments to show for the effort. We need to mitigate global warming to save agriculture from g

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago

Thanks for the article.