Date of this Version
Taylor, S. Nebraska Politics and the Environment: Framing Political Communication in the State of Nebraska in Comparison to National Level Discourse. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2023.
Environmental public policy has seen little change on the national level in recent decades due to Congressional gridlock. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have entrenched their opposing viewpoints, and their communication on the topic utilizes issue frames to help sway the public to see their side. On the Republican side, these issue frames take the form of the “scientific uncertainty” and “economic consequences” frames. This study, based on issue framing, surveys the communication of Nebraska’s Republican State Senators to determine if they utilize the same issue frames or if they diverge from their national counterparts. By analyzing recent statements on environmental issues made by these State Senators, the main finding of this paper is that Nebraska’s State Senators used different issue frames than national Republicans over half of the time. Additionally, the statements made which adhered to the national issue frames were almost all issued by only two State Senators. The analysis performed as part of this paper supports the conclusion the majority of Nebraska’s Republican State Senators discuss environmental issues in a manner that differs from Republicans at the national level.