Environment

GOP Faces Schism Over Climate Change

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorOct 3, 2011 3:31 PM

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It turns out that some leading moderate Republicans are chafing at the "anti-science" label being affixed to their party. The National Journal has the story:

Between 2005 and 2010, prominent moderate Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and John Warner of Virginia (now retired) were among Washington's leading voices in the call to fight climate change, and authored cap-and-trade bills aimed at addressing the problem. And they did so as leaders of their party: while running for president, chairing Senate committees, and working within the congressional leadership. Now, moderate Republicans like McCain and Graham have quieted their voices on the issue, in part because acknowledging climate change puts them out of sync with the tea party base that has so energized their party, and because climate-change legislation stands no chance of passing Congress in the current political environment. But quietly, many acknowledge a deepening GOP schism over the issue, as many moderates grow increasingly disturbed by their party's denial of proven science. A number of influential Republicans who have left the battlefield of electoral politics are now taking action in an effort to change the GOP's stance.

Some of that action described in the story is old news, but the larger concern about being tagged an anti-science party is growing in some corners of the GOP. And the response isn't to blow smokeat it, but to actually face up to it.

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