Rep. Blake Moore calls for GOP to ‘change the narrative’ around climate change
Says party needs to embrace the issue
First Congressional District Republican Rep. Blake Moore, who represents Summit County in Congress, says the Republican Party cannot sit on the sidelines of the climate change debate and stressed the need for the GOP to “change that narrative” as the United States explores ways to lower carbon emissions.
Moore made the comments during a virtual town hall discussion Monday, co-hosted by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the American Conservation Coalition. Moore noted the Citizens’ Climate Lobby was one of the first groups he met with last year after winning the nomination for his congressional seat.
“It wasn’t big, just a dozen or so people who are very active in Utah, but it meant a lot to me,” he said. “It showed me how important this issue is to people and I’m excited to be a conservative voice in that space.”
Moore said in the handful of meetings he’s had with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby since he’s tried to learn as much as he can about the group’s concerns, “particularly what the next generation wants us to focus on.” Moore said he’s trying to ensure climate change is no longer a partisan issue.
“I hope you see that I am sincere in my efforts here,” he said. “Our environment is paramount, and I want to be sure the Republican Party has a seat at the table. The long-term health and viability of our planet is a goal we all have to share.”
Moore said in his first few months in Congress he has joined the Natural Resources Committee as well as the bipartisan wildfire caucus and others dedicated to addressing climate change from several angles.
“The answer to this problem, the solutions, do not exist in one industry or one interest group,” he said. “The ability to find balance and promote better behavior and opportunities is going to be key.
“Again, this cannot be a Democrat issue or a Republican issue.”
Moore said he is hopeful the seriousness of climate change will lead to productive discussions in Congress and that the partisan gridlock that has become a hallmark of the legislative branch in recent years can be avoided.
“If we want to make progress on climate issues we have to focus on our shared goals and start our discussions from a point of mutual understanding,” he said. “Beginning with where we disagree dooms conversations.”
Asked what the Republican Party can do to improve its messaging around climate change, Moore said the party is having discussions around that internally but added that, to him, it isn’t just about saying the right things.
“We recognize that it isn’t just about messaging,” he said. “We really do want to help.”
Moore said for many Republicans in Congress, addressing climate change is a difficult tightrope to walk.
“It’s easy for a Democrat from an urban district to talk about these things, because the companies that produce energy are not there,” he said. “It’s tough for Republicans who represent these energy producers. But I will say there is a real push happening on this, a real excitement and an openness to talking about (climate change).”
Moore pointed to issues like the potential of a shortened ski season in Utah and the resulting economic impact as a way to bring Republicans to the table and not just, he joked, “the tree huggers.”
Moore said he would like to see the Republican Party be more open and proud about the work it has already done to address climate change.
“We should not let the Democrat Party own this issue.”
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