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We’re leading an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

Join our work today to help us build a thriving and just clean energy future. 

Republicans Are Trying to Burn It Down, Literally: Defending Climate Progress in 2024

The stakes have never been higher. We need a president with a track record of bold, effective climate action.

© 2024 and © 2011 Gage Skidmore/Flickr BY-SA 2.0

We’re just one year out from inauguration day 2025, and GOP front-runner Donald Trump is only getting more reckless and unapologetic about his goals if elected into office—dubbing himself with the brazen title of “dictator for the day” in part so he could “drill, drill, drill.” Trump’s nonsensical campaign speeches point to a horrifying potential future: one that would not only undercut the climate progress made in the past few years, but foment an all-out war against science-based policy. 

A quick recap of his shameful legacy and climate denialism, starting from day one: Trump scrubbed any mention of climate from the White House website by noon on his inauguration day and took down EPA’s page on the 101s of climate science a few months later. He withdrew from the Paris Agreement, empowered fossil fuel execs with leadership positions at the White House, and rolled back clean power regulations to keep coal-burning power plants open.

He spent his four years in office doing everything he could to quash bedrock environmental policy, appoint judges hostile to climate action, and bury the threat of the climate crisis. He failed to address or acknowledge its reality—and a return to office would only mean a doubling down on this dangerous strategy. 

The clean energy transition is already in motion, but another Trump presidency still presents a major threat. America cannot afford another Trump presidency—or expect any leadership from any of the runner-up Republican candidates clinging to political relevance. 

Ron DeSantis, who came in a distant second at the Iowa Caucus, where he was called out by climate protestors, is pledging to expand fossil fuel production and fight electric vehicle mandates. This comes as his very own state of Florida faces some of the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Nikki Haley led the effort to pull out of the Paris Agreement, as former U.N. ambassador, and in defiance of leading scientists, sees no need to cut carbon pollution, but rather, wants to increase production and just “capture” it. Meanwhile, Vivek Ramaswamy has repeatedly claimed that the climate agenda is a “hoax,” repeating the refrain “drill, frack, burn coal,” as his energy policy “solution.” 

By contrast, President Biden’s track record of running, winning, and delivering on climate places him miles apart from his adversaries: Donald Trump, the B-team candidates vying for second place, and the Congress members bought and paid for by the fossil fuel lobby. 

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Governor Ron DeSantis and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at the CNN Republican Presidential Debate at Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. (© 2024 Gage Skidmore/Flickr BY-SA 2.0)

Republican Strategy: Burn It All Down 

Today’s Republican party is spear-headed by a MAGA lineup that’s keen on spewing climate denialism for their own political and financial gains—no matter the cost. And while denying the facts of science and climate change is nothing new for Republicans, emboldened extremists in Congress and on the campaign trail are now going to great lengths to wage active war on our last chance at a livable future. Trump’s own climate rhetoric on the campaign trail has become increasingly untethered from reality and sources close to him are promising that in a second term, Trump would “go back to all-out fossil fuel production and sit on the EPA.”

Far-right agenda platforms like the Heritage Foundation’s “Project 2025” have already become widely accepted by conservatives as the mainstream on the campaign trail, despite being rejected by the majority of voters. This agenda would not only attempt to claw back hundreds of billions of dollars in critical climate and clean energy investments, but it would also further tether the U.S. economy to expensive, unreliable, and polluting oil, gas, and coal production. All while fossil fuel execs rake in record profits. Simply put—the GOP agenda is a ready and loaded gun that could spiral us into rapid decline, irrevocable damage, and climate chaos. 

This Election, Everything Is on the Line

There’s no doubt. We’re living in the midst of climate crisis. It’s here, now, and its impacts are reverberating into communities from California to New York, Michigan to Florida, and beyond. If the nationwide wildfires, catastrophic flooding, and dystopian red smoke-filled skies weren’t signal enough; the data is crystal clear, 2023 was the hottest year on record—by a lot. 

Reports show toxic pollution continues to threaten the health of more than 100 million Americans, especially those in Black, Brown, Indigenous, and frontline communities. Extreme weather remains deadly. And depleted crop and farming yields are harming food security. Beyond that, Americans are repeatedly facing power outages from the fossil-based power grid and the country just tallied a record number of billion-dollar climate-related disasters, altogether totaling nearly 93 billion dollars.

At the same time, we’re living through the promise of what climate action can deliver. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act has set in motion a clean energy revolution that is creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country, bringing manufacturing back to communities that were once the economic engine of America, and beginning to build the clean energy future we need.   

We need a leader that can meet the urgency of this moment. The incoming president will face these present-day challenges and must also propel us forward toward the clean energy future communities demand; they will take us up to the eve of our 2030 climate deadlines—a crucial tipping point in averting the worst effects of the climate crisis. The stakes have never been greater, and we require a commander-in-chief with a strong track record on climate and the resolution to keep pushing us further, faster. 

In contrast, Republicans are champing at the bit to quite literally upend any progress made thus far and knee-cap any attempts to make progress in the future. They’re not just indifferent, they are actively organizing to perpetuate an agenda that prioritizes profits and political interests over people and the planet. And we’re out of time to continue course-correcting their malfeasance—now or down the line. 

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President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Monday, November 20, 2023, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

We Need a Climate Champion

This is the year we must once and for all reject the greedy, anti-democratic, and corrupt special interests of a Republican party that’s inspired only by the aspiration of making the rich richer and the powerful more powerful. Bankrolled by Big Oil and corporate autocrats, the MAGA agenda has nothing to offer the American people. 

January 20, 2024 marks the anniversary of President Biden’s inauguration, the last year of his first term, and the start of an election year. And as we peer on from this critical juncture toward the future of our country, it couldn’t be clearer who the 2024 climate candidate is. 

Biden’s success advancing the most ambitious climate, clean energy, and environmental justice agenda in American history has been a hallmark of his time in office. He took important strides on the bold climate agenda he ran and won on—passing the historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), committing to advance environmental justice through the Justice40 Initiative, launching the American Climate Corps, and more. And there is still work to be done. 

A year from now, we face two potential futures, and the stakes couldn’t be higher: The first, an America that expands on current progress, continues to build a clean energy economy that centers workers’ rights and frontline communities, and ensures equity, justice, and prosperity for all people regardless of race, age, income, or background. Or the second, one led by the modern Republican party, built on greed, funded by Big Oil, and bought-out by polluters and corporate interests. 

Biden can, and must, continue to expand upon his winning climate agenda and deliver the bold leadership Americans—and this moment—deserve. This means furthering institutional reforms, expanding state implementation for critical climate and clean energy investments, strengthening federal standards, and enshrining the intersectional nature of our democratic values across all sectors in such a way that promotes equity and justice for all. 

 

Paid for by Evergreen Action. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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