Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) Photographer: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Louisiana Republican Seeks to ‘Redefine’ Climate Change for GOP

Rep. Garret Graves steps into new role as ranking Republican of House select climate committee. Graves has earned respect of coastal conservationists

Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) has made it clear he is an ardent advocate for saving his state’s disappearing coastline. Now he has to make clear his views on what’s causing the problem and how to address it.

Graves said climate change is real and affecting his state.

As he steps into his new role as ranking member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Graves is wading into less familiar territory— shifting his focus from his home district and tackling the causes and effects of climate change nationwide and globally.

The climate panel—which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) resurrected after Democrats took control of the chamber—holds its initial organizational meeting March 28.

Graves and other Republicans will seek to amend the committee rules to require a cost analysis for any recommendations on curbing rising temperatures.

“We want to set out and talk about how we can redefine what climate is and what it means,” Graves told Bloomberg Environment.

By “redefining” climate change, he explained, he expects to flip a historically left-leaning talking point and make it relatable to conservatives.

Energy efficiency, for example, can reduce energy costs and make the U.S. more competitive—two goals that Republicans typically embrace, Graves said.

“That’s applying Republican principles to this area and that would bring Republicans to the table,” he said. “Democrats would come to that exact same table as we’re talking about ideas that would reduce emissions.”

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