Is a Conservative Climate Movement Heating Up?Leave a Comment
- Optimists see hope in growing GOP support for renewable energy, but many Republicans still steer clear of anything that says climate change.
By Marianne Lavelle Jul 25, 2017 read full Inside Climate News article here
….The Republican party dominates the legislative and executive branches in Washington and the states alike—the White House, Congress, 33 governorships and 32 legislatures.
That’s why green advocacy groups are taking note of conservative clean energy advocacy organizations now working in at least 16 states and a bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus that has more than doubled its ranks since Trump took office. With its “Noah’s ark” rule that members enroll in bipartisan pairs, the caucus’s 50 members include 25 Republicans—more than one out of 10 Republicans in the House….
…For many Republicans, free-market ideology provides enough cover to embrace clean energy technology—even without making a climate change case…The driving force behind conservative support for clean energy is not so much concern over the impact of fossil fuels, as it is standing up for other businesses that aim to produce or use cleaner power…
…”What we are seeing is a recognition among leaders across the Republican Party that this is about embracing market competition and realizing that renewable energy policy is an economic development tool,” said J.R. Tolbert, vice president for state programs at Advanced Energy Economy, an advocacy organization of advanced energy businesses….
…In California, Gov. Jerry Brown was able to declare a bipartisan victory last week when he garnered Republican support for extending to 2030 the state’s cap-and-trade program—the most progressive climate action effort in the nation. But to win those GOP votes, Brown agreed to bar local air districts from directly regulating carbon emissions or setting rules to protect neighborhoods that are disproportionately burdened by pollution from fossil fuel facilities. The concessions won praise from the oil industry lobbying group Western States Petroleum Association, but they mean that neighborhoods around the state’s 18 oil refineries will lose leverage to address their persistent air pollution woes.