The Republican National Convention is in full swing, and as party delegates adopted the 2016 Republican Party Platform on the first day of activities, the GOP showed a renewed embrace of coal.
With calls to rebuild America’s aging electric grid infrastructure, the platform calls for ‘a new era in energy,’ in which coal figures prominently, as part of an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach.
“For low-income Americans, expensive energy means colder homes in the winter and hotter homes in the summer, less mobility in employment, and higher food prices,” according to platform authors. As such, “coal is an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource” that should be tapped. The platform further contends that coal miners “and their families should be protected” from any “radical anticoal agenda.”
According to the Washington Examiner, early word about the inclusion of coal in the Republican Party’s platform engendered some bi-partisan support from unlikely congressional allies, Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). While they may not be offering full-throated endorsements of coal, they have apparently expressed some interest in finding bi-partisan solutions supporting positive action on climate change, and clean coal technologies are viewed as a step in the right direction.
While coal makes an appearance in the GOP Platform, it is by no means the only mode of energy production the Party is endorsing. “We support the development of all forms of energy that are marketable in a free economy without subsidies, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower,” it said. The Platform goes on to say that the Party also “encourage[s] the cost-effective development of renewable energy sources — wind, solar, biomass, biofuel, geothermal, and tidal energy — by private capital.”
Noting that “[e]nergy is both an economic and national security issue,” the Platform declares that Republicans “support the enactment of policies to increase domestic energy production.”