A recent house party close to the U.S./Mexico border saw the conversation shift from taxes and schools to immigration and the conversion of an old railway line to a hiking trail. The effort of Democrats in Washington to use large federal spending packages to combat climate change was not mentioned on Friday night. Garza, 36-year-old immigration lawyer, said that it’s not because the district is more moderately conservative or moderately more liberal. Garza is running for the House seat currently held by Filemon Vela, a retiring centrist Democrat. “Talking about how your actions will meaningfully affect families and make communities healthier, I believe that this matters more than any of these hot buttons issues. Democrats in the United States are poised for a bigger spending package on the environment.

The President Joe Biden has been traveling the country announcing the alarm about a warming planet and warning of “code red” for humanity. But this focus could cause political problems for energy-rich areas. This includes South Texas where many Latino voters voted against Democrats last year’s election. The party’s chances of holding Congress in 2022 could be hampered by their failure to win them back. Mayra Flores (35-year-old respiratory physician and organizer for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign) said, “They’re really making things easy on us.” Flores, who is also running to Vela’s seat, argues that Democrats are making Texans choose between energy sector jobs or curbing climate change. According to the Pew Research Center, Trump won 38% last year from Latinos. This is 10 percentage points more than in 2016. His most impressive gains were in areas dominated by Hispanics that produce large quantities of oil and natural gas, such as the district Garza & Flores wish to represent.

It extends from Brownsville where there are plans to build liquified gas terminals for export. More than 150 miles (240 km) further north is the sparsely populated Eagle Ford Shale. Cameron County, which includes Brownsville, was won by Biden last year. It is home to about 90% Hispanic. However, Trump’s margin of victory increased by 20 percentage points in 2016 compared to 2016. Trump won the oil-and-gas-producing but still heavily Hispanic Jim Wells and Kleberg counties further north. “We are extremely dependent on oil, gas. “That’s why you saw those numbers,” Flores said. Flores was born in Mexico and came to America at the age of 6. He also picked cotton every summer as a child. That’s what people do. “That’s what they do.” Biden signed an executive order to stop new oil and gas leases on federal territory. However, it was stopped by a court order this Summer. However, the spending package currently being discussed in Congress aims to accelerate efforts to combat climate change.

The legislation includes language about imposing high polluter fees and tax incentives for clean and electric vehicles, as well as requiring that the nation’s electricity grid be more dependent on renewable energy sources. Rolando Lozano (62 years old), is a manager at an electric utility. He was among 200 people who recently filled Harlingen’s community center west of Brownsville to see Flores, and other Latino Republican candidates. Lozano stated that Democrats have moved to the left so much it “looks anti-American.” It doesn’t matter what you call it, but it is fundamentally wrong. This feeling is not universal among Hispanics. A September Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Poll found that 58% of Hispanics approve of Biden’s handling of climate change. 38% disagree. Amanda Dave is a Brownsville public health campaign manager. Her father was an oil and gas worker. She believes that protecting the environment is more important then appeasing energy interests.

They try to spread the message that ‘We’re bringing job’. We’re bringing jobs. “We’re bringing jobs.” Dave, 35, said that they were bringing work. “I believe there is a growing consciousness about how to preserve what is here. It is what makes it unique. Gabriel Sanchez, the University of New Mexico’s Center for Social Policy executive director, stated that climate change concerns are more important to Latinos than the general population, unless they are viewed in terms of job loss. Sanchez stated that tension has existed in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado for a while. He also said that Latinos are very conscious of climate change and support any progressive policy to reduce it. “But when you combine that with the possibility of losing jobs, you begin to see a more even attitude split.” The adjacent House district was also reelected by less that 3 percentage points in 2020. Vicente Gonzalez, a Democratic Representative who founded the House Oil and Gas Caucus and urged the Biden Administration not to go too far left on environmental issues, is now Democratic Rep. Fast-growing Texas is gaining two new congressional seats after the 2020 census, and the Republican-controlled Legislature has proposed redistricting maps making Gonzalez’s territory more red.

This tension was already a factor in the election of a Republican House seat last year. New Mexico’s Republican Yvette Sherrell beat Democratic incumbent Xochitl Tores Small. This was a conservative district with 55% Hispanics and includes part the oil-rich Permian Basin. Biden pledged to “transition” America away from fossil fuels during last year’s presidential debate. Torres Small replied that it was wrong for the government to “demonize” energy industries and condemned the idea of banning drilling. However, she lost. Flores claims that Biden’s comment on the debate is still being heard in South Texas. Flores said, “I see this rise within the Republican Party.” Flores campaigns under the slogan “Make America Godly again.” Garza believes that climate change-fighting efforts could create high-paying job opportunities.

Garza noted that the district already has wind farms and could have more opportunities in solar energy. Garza stated that “these are natural resources we can easily use to create jobs.” Despite Trump’s past crackdown on immigration, Garza would approach immigrants who were waiting to cross the border between Mexico and America and give presentations about asylum-seekers’ rights. Garza spoke out about the environmental efforts of the national Democrats. “I believe it’s all about focusing upon what opportunities we have.” “Republicans love to preach doom.” Daniel Canales (33), who is currently employed, attended the Harlingen conservatives’ event. He said that while he and others don’t object to new, more sustainable jobs, they often disagree with Democrats’ ideology. The problem with the Democrats is that they seem too urban-oriented. Canales stated that they are too focused on the problems in their own neighborhoods. “Out here, this doesn’t really mean much.”