Changing Republican Spirit
Congressional Republicans and climate change. You know what Republicans think, right? Not so fast. Some Congressional Republicans are moving away from the party line to proactively reach toward a clean energy future. This is an excellent opportunity – both economically and politically.
In recent years, many conservatives and Republicans have individually spoken out on the importance of action on climate change, but this is the first time in nearly a decade that Republican members of Congress have formally raised the issue.
Three efforts show this change in expressed Republican dogma. In late 2015 efforts were started by Republicans in both the House and the Senate. House Resolution 424, co-sponsored by 13 Republicans, was proposed to look at solutions to possible negative effects of climate change (Sep 2015), and the Senate Energy and Environment Working Group, comprised of four Republican senators formed to discuss the issue and potential legislation (Oct, 2015).
In February, 2016, the Climate Solutions Caucus, formed. This bi-partisan caucus is co-chaired by Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL-21) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26), and aims at education on climate change and to explore economically-viable solutions.
These new efforts are looking for solutions, and are not necessarily predisposed to what that solution is. Nevertheless pricing carbon undoubtedly will be one option discussed because – when efficient and truly free-market – pricing carbon is widely regarded as the most cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions.
You can be part of the solution by lobbying your Senators and Representatives to reach across the aisle and really openly discuss our options. Striving toward a clean energy future is an opportunity that is not only attractive, necessary, and profitable – it is bi-partisan. Let’s move the conversation forward.