U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, talked climate change with the Golden Isles Republican Women during a visit to Glynn County on Monday.
“Climate change is real. The climate has been changing since day one,” Carter said. “We’ve seen it through history, we know the climate is changing. There was a time back in the 70s when it was getting colder, and we were afraid we were going to have more freezing of areas. Now we’ve got just the opposite.”
Recently appointed to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Climate Change, Carter said he takes the issue seriously.
“I represent the entire coast of Georgia, 100 miles of pristine coastline. I’ve lived here all my life, it’s where I intend to live the rest of my life,” Carter said. “I love this coast, and I’m never going to do anything to harm this coast. I believe that we need to make sure we’ve got a representative on this committee for our coast, that’s why I volunteered for it.”
He had an idea going into the committee on how to address it, he said.
“We need to do a number of things. We need to have mitigation, adaptation and innovation,” Carter said. “We need to mitigate this to make it as less-impactful on us as we can. We need to adapt to it.”
He used Tybee Island as an example of mitigation and adaptation. Roads on the island experience heavy spring flooding, and the city government is working to shore up the only road to the island and construct new roads as a result.
“We need to build that road now. We need to adapt to it,” Carter said.
He also suggested new construction regulations.
“Guess what happens when you build a house on a slab next to the marsh — it floods,” Cater said. “That’s why we need to have our regulations to say — and I’m not talking about existing homes, I’m talking about new construction — if you’re going to build a house next to the marsh, you’ve got to build it up so that we don’t flood. These are just common-sense things.
While he said he believed the government needs to take some action in response to climate change, he distanced himself from the Green New Deal, a Democratic proposal aimed at addressing the issue along with a number of others.
“It is the craziest thing I have ever seen. I read that 14 pages and laughed the whole way through,” Carter said. “I take climate change seriously. I don’t mean to be making light of it, I do take it seriously. I think we need to adapt, we need to mitigate and we need innovation.”
America has been in the past and can be again a hotbed of such innovation, he said.
“What happened with the internet? The government stayed out of the way and let the innovators do their job,” Carter said. “We do the same thing here, and I can assure you we can do the same thing here.
“We need to incentivize it, we need to encourage it, but I am not going to be for mandating doing away with everything, all types of fossil fuels. We have to have an all-of-the-above type of solution.
“Yes, we’ve got to have renewable energy, we all understand that. It’s very important, we have to have clean energy, but we can’t just ruin our economy over this. That is what the Green New Deal would do.”
Carter also spoke on some of his own pieces of legislation dealing with generic medications.
When a drug manufacturer patents a new medication, they have the right to exclusively market and sell that drug for seven years, he explained. Following that, he continued, a single generic manufacturer is allowed the exclusive right to market and sell the generic version for six months before others can jump on the wagon.
That first generic manufacturer can often be a roadblock to other generics, he said.
“They’re gaming the system and they’re turning that six months into eight months, into 12 months, into 18 months, into 24 months, saying ‘Oh, we had to do this, and we had to do that.’ Well, my bill says six months is six months, period,” Carter said. “If you’ve got problems, you need to get over them. That will speed up the process and we’ll get generics on the market and the drug prices will come down quicker.”
He conditioned it, however, by saying representatives on the other side of the political aisle will likely package his bill with others, including some related to the Affordable Care Act — which Carter referred to as “Obamacare.”
“They are going to package those good bills, those bipartisan bills, along with some other bills to beef up Obamacare, so I’m probably going to end up voting against them,” Carter said. “Voting against my own bills because I’m not going to be able to support Obamacare, I can’t support that.”
He will make efforts to get his bills stripped out for separate votes, he said. If he can’t Republican senators likely will try, Carter added.
“We’re not going to beef up Obamacare. It’s a failed experiment and needs to be canned so we can start over,” Carter said.
He also touched on immigration and health care legislation, in both cases saying house Democrats are a large reason for the lack of progress.
“It’s just a tough problem,” Carter said of immigration.
Following his time with the Republican women, Carter stopped by the World War II Home Front Museum, located in the old Coast Guard station on St. Simons Island.