Lance Gooden

Editor’s note:  First elected in 2018, Republican Congressman Lance Gooden represents Texas’ 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 5th District stretches from Dallas County to Cherokee, Henderson, Kaufmann, Anderson, Van Zandt and Wood Counties. Lance and his wife, Alexa, live in Terrell with their son, Liam.

America has a climate politics problem. Few think Democrats have the answers to solving climate change, and most don’t believe Republicans take the issue seriously. Climate change threatens to impact our everyday lives and we need to take steps to address the causes of increasing global temperatures. Meanwhile, Democrats across the country are steadily losing the confidence of voters on this issue. Why is that?

The public has a difficult time taking Democrats seriously on climate change because the only thing more extreme than their assessment of the problem is the solution they propose. By constantly casting climate change as an issue of life-or-death, Democrats remind us why we can’t rely on them to lead. The same politicians telling you climate change will end the world in the next decade told you net neutrality would be the end of the internet as we know it. They’re the same bunch that said Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court would threaten the lives of women and that Donald Trump would ruin the economy and start new wars.

If you were to believe what they tell you, they’d have enough votes to bring in the heavy hand of the federal government and destroy our energy industry. Solving this problem isn’t as easy as mandating a shutdown of energy production, unless we’re willing to stop running our air conditioners or driving trucks. The fact of the matter is that renewable energies like wind and solar don’t come close to satisfying America’s power needs. Furthermore, they’re expensive.

Democrats would gain traction if they were willing to consider the positive benefits of using natural gas and nuclear power, or new technologies around fossil fuels like carbon capture. Instead, they’ve called for the elimination of the airline industry and focused their attention on the flatulence of cattle. Other countries present challenges to change. China alone releases more emissions than America and Europe combined. India, the fastest growing economy in the world, is on track to exceed America in emissions in coming years. Even if Democrats were to succeed in implementing their radical climate plans, these countries wouldn’t obey their rules.

I offer another solution – one that utilizes the creative power of the American economy. By sponsoring developments in carbon capture, natural gas extraction and nuclear power, Republicans have found a way to allow the genius of American innovation to solve the problems we face. We can’t regulate our way out of this mess as the Obama administration attempted. The future of clean energy and reducing emissions lies in new technologies like small-scale, advanced nuclear power plants and solid-state batteries. The only way to access those solutions is for the American economy to be unleashed.

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