Key Words: A Republican senator is proposing his own climate-change plan. Just don’t call it the ‘Green New Deal’

Sen. Lamar Alexander

A Republican senator on Monday took to the Senate floor to discuss what’s bothering him. It wasn’t the Mueller investigation, or Hillary Clinton or estate taxes, either.

“Mr. President, I believe climate change is real. I believe that human emissions are a major cause of climate change. And I believe the Democratic plan for climate change — which the senator from Texas [John Cornyn] spoke about, the Green New Deal, is so far out in left field that not many are going to take it seriously.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

The former presidential candidate said he is proposing a “new Manhattan Project for clean energy,” to create breakthroughs in advanced nuclear reactors, natural gas, carbon capture, batteries, greener buildings, electric vehicles, cheaper solar power and fusion. He is calling for a doubling of federal energy research.

Alexander also puts the blame squarely on China and India for climate change, pointing out the drastic reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas production over the past 13 years.

If the rhetoric sounds familiar, that’s because it is — Alexander authored a similar plan, with the same name, more than a decade ago.

According to the Congressional Research Service, federal funding for energy research has slowly climbed since the late 1990s, other than one spike after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to about $4.5 billion last year.

Alexander is planning to retire after his term ends in 2020.

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