Washington Examiner: Lamar Alexander calls for doubling research funding as alternative to the Green New Deal

Posted on March 25, 2019

Washington Examiner: Lamar Alexander calls for doubling research funding as alternative to the Green New Deal

By: John Siciliano


Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., on Monday outlined a conservative alternative to the Democrats' "Green New Deal," calling for doubling of federal energy research funding to spur clean and affordable energy.

“I believe the Democrat cure for climate change is so far out in left field that not many are going to take it seriously," Alexander said in issuing his plan, called “one Republican’s response to climate change: a New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy.”

Alexander's plan calls for, within a five-year period, solving a number of grand energy challenges in the areas of advanced nuclear energy, natural gas, carbon capture technologies, advanced batteries for energy storage, "greener" buildings, cheaper solar energy technologies, electric cars, and nuclear fusion energy.

He said the Democrats’ Green New Deal is basically "an assault" on cars, livestock, and fuels that are burned to provide energy.

"And with nuclear power available, its strategy for fighting climate change with windmills makes as much sense as going to war in sailboats," he said.

The plan calls for the doubling of federal funding for energy research as part of 10 "Grand Challenges." The end goal of the grand challenges would be to raise family incomes by lowering energy costs, strengthening the economy, and demonstrating to the rest of the world how to reduce the carbon emissions blamed for causing climate change.

Alexander said a greater focus should be on reducing emissions in "the rest of the world," rather in the United States, because that's "where the carbon emissions problem has to be solved.”

He said that China, India, and developing countries "are the problem" when it comes to climate change, and that U.S. innovation is the answer.

Alexander noted that for over a decade, the U.S. has reduced its greenhouse gases emissions more than any other major country has, while China's emissions have only risen.

Alexander has said that he will not run for another term in office in 2020.