CFACT is on the ground at COP27, the United Nations’ climate change conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, attending meetings, confronting delegates with the facts, and exposing the plans of global bureaucrats to spend, spend, spend.

At the end of the first week of the conference, President Biden gave a long-anticipated speech, where he blamed Russia for inflation, food shortages, and energy price hikes, and bragged about the money his administration was spending to fix the climate.

Meanwhile, Republican members of the “Conservative Climate Caucus” in a panel tried to walk the line of being against coal, but not being against all fossil fuels, while also being against climate alarmism, but not being against some sort of climate action. More on that in a moment.

During President Biden’s speech, he touted the $368 billion for climate initiatives from the Inflation Reduction Act. He also mentioned a request of $11 billion annually by 2024 to help those in developing nations respond to climate change, including a $150 million “down payment” from the United States for adaptation efforts. Biden went on to say the United States is “doubling” its pledge to the “adaptation fund” to $100 million. He mentioned a corporate partnership with Angola to invest $2 billion in solar projects there.

Pivoting from lauding his climate achievements, Biden then addressed global challenges such as inflation and shortages and side-stepped any acknowledgement of blame from his administration’s climate initiatives. In fact, he claimed these crises were proof more climate action was needed.

“Folks, I know this has been a difficult few years. The interconnected challenges we face can feel all-consuming, and the upheaval we’re seeing around the world especially Russia’s brutal attack against Ukraine, is exacerbating food shortages and energy spikes and cost, increasing volatility in those energy markets, driving up global inflation. Against this backdrop, it is more important than ever that we double down on our climate commitments. Russia’s war only enhances the urgency and the need to transition the world off its dependence on fossil fuels. True energy security means every nation, means that every nation, is benefitting from clean, diversified energy future.”

CFACT’s Marc Morano, climate soothsayer, predicted this way back on November 1 as CFACT was preparing its delegation to COP27.

“Given the full exposure of the green energy mandate scam,” Morano said, “this UN climate summit should be dubbed the ‘The Cover Your A$$ Summit’ as the climate activists will be furiously spinning the failure of green energy and the coming deadly blackouts as somehow Russia’s fault or the fault of the free market and a great ‘opportunity’ to double down (on green energy failure).”

At COP27 in Egypt, Biden and Climate Caucus Republicans Miss the Mark 1

From right, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Rep. Garrett Graves, and Rep. John Curtis at a Conservative Climate Caucus panel at COP27 in Egypt.

At the panel featuring members of the “Conservative Climate Caucus,” four Republican members of Congress participated in a discussion as part of the UN’s “Decarbonization Day.” These were Rep. John Curtis of Utah, Rep. Garrett Graves of Louisiana, Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa.

“And I think we need to decide, as a world, do we hate greenhouse gas emissions? Or do we hate fossil fuels? It’s not the same thing,” said Rep. Curtis. “I represent a county and I love to talk about this, this county is called ‘Carbon County.’ What do you suppose they do in Carbon County? They mine coal and they have a coal burning plant. You can imagine how they feel, when we demonize fossil fuels, and then just hop on a plane and go to our enemies and ask them to produce more fossil fuels…And yet, these are the very people who I think can lead us in an energy revolution – a clean energy revolution. These are the very people who for decades and decades and decades sacrificed their health and their safety so that we could go to the wall and flip a switch and have the lights come on. These are bright people, they’re smart, and they want to innovate, and they want to become part of the green future. Why are we knocking the knees out from underneath them? The second thing is, in this Carbon County that I mentioned, underneath the surface, they have all this coal, guess what? They also have these critical minerals. They would love to transition off of coal to critical minerals…”

At COP27 in Egypt, Biden and Climate Caucus Republicans Miss the Mark 2

Steven Lopez, a coal miner in Pennsylvania, discusses with CFACT intern David how regulations impact his livelihood at the EPA ceremony in 2019.

I don’t know for certain if Congressman Curtis is talking about real conversations he’s had with coal miners, or if he is talking theoretically. But I know that the energy workers I’ve met take great pride in their work, they value what they do, they resent being demonized, and they don’t want to transition careers or change the job they’ve been doing for years.

I saw it when I attended the EPA ceremony in 2019 enacting the Affordable Clean Energy Plan, which replaced Obama’s Clean Power Plan at the time. Coal miners from Pennsylvania were there in force and gave a strong ovation to then EPA Administrator Pruitt’s remarks. They were sick and tired of Obama’s “war on coal.” They were excited about the prospect of being able to keep their jobs and do what they were trained and good at doing.

I saw it when CFACT met with frackers in Northwest Pennsylvania and got to see firsthand the skill and hard work that goes into extracting oil and gas from the ground. They’re sick and tired of bureaucrats trying to tax and regulate them out of business, and they wondered if they’d be able to stay in business or not. None of them wanted to “learn to code” or become solar panel installers.

At COP27 in Egypt, Biden and Climate Caucus Republicans Miss the Mark 4

CFACT staff looks on as fracking rig operators work a well site.

“I am from Houston, so I gotta, I haven’t even said the words ‘oil and gas,’ yet,” added Rep. Crenshaw at the panel in Egypt. “But, you know, there’s an interesting study out there, if you let our industry do whatever they needed to do, our gas industry, let them build the pipelines they need, let them build the terminals, the export terminals they need – they could probably quadruple production, exports in the next ten years. What would that do? What would be the equivalent? If then our US government, made a point of making sure that that gas was displacing carbon-heavy coal, what would happen? It would be the equivalent of giving every American solar panels, giving every American a Tesla, doubling our wind capacity. That’s the equivalent in carbon reductions of doing something like that.”

How does Rep. Crenshaw propose our government make sure this oil and gas displaces coal power? Pass a ban on all coal-fired power plants? Continue to enact myriad regulations to make it too expensive to operate a coal plant? What is “conservative” about that?

To be sure, some on the panel said some good things at times. Rep. Crenshaw’s remarks criticizing climate alarmism was a breath of fresh air at a UN climate panel. But overall, the Conservative Climate Caucus makes this big mistake: they think the UN can be reasoned with or compromised with on climate change.

I don’t know if they understand that the UN is only eager to embrace them now because it is excellent public relations for the climate alarmist message. What better for the UN than some Republicans finally willing to participate in their climate change conferences? It shows the world that the UN message is winning – “even the Republicans agree with us now!”

There are some things the Conservative Climate Caucus gets right. Adaptation, innovation, and streamlining permitting and regulations are all good things.

But by participating in this “Decarbonization Day,” these Republican lawmakers have legitimized the UN’s message of collectivism, massive taxes and government spending, corrupt and alarmist science, and centralized power. In their attempt to be part of the conversation, they have only eroded the conservative message.

Author

  • Adam Houser

    Adam Houser coordinates student leaders as National Director of CFACT's collegians program and writes on issues of climate and energy.