Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate was short on discussion of energy and climate policy, but two leading contenders did manage to squeak in some familiar ideas.
In a section about the economy, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker both effectively endorsed President Obama’s energy policy, which has helped greatly expand oil and natural gas production—while decreasing carbon emissions at the same time.
Scott Walker with first reference to "all-of-the-above energy policy." I'd do a shot but I'm already drunk from Trump Ale.— Darren Goode (@DarrenGoode) August 7, 2015
Jeb Bush: "We need to embrace the energy revolution in this country. Like the Keystone XL Pipeline"... Jeb, that isn't how any of this works— Grant Ricossa (@gRicossa) August 7, 2015
Walker just argued we should have an "all of the above" energy policy...which is exactly the language Obama uses for his policy. #GOPDebate— Sean Keeley (@seankeeley) August 7, 2015
Bush said (twice) that the eventual Republican nominee should support the “energy revolution,” a vaguely worded reference to the boom in natural gas and renewables, and Walker mentioned an “all of the above” strategy by name, the same language Obama uses.
It's not surprising that they affirmed a strategy that scientists say is inconsistent with maintaining a safe and stable climate system. But the fact that both the leading Democratic candidate and now two of the leading Republican candidates support it gives voters a pretty good idea that not much is going to change over the next four years—and that’s a tragedy.