Conservative Support for Climate

Some conservative leaders are taking steps to lead on climate solutions, and to encourage their fellow leaders and constituents to recognize how these solutions can align with conservative values. In the Climate Progress article, Joe Romm and Rebecca Leber discusses Bob Inglis’ new venture, the Energy and Enterprise Initiative.

Republicans Tired Of Climate Change Deniers Launch Initiative For Global Warming Action, Carbon Price
Cross-post from Climate Progress
by Rebecca Leber and Joe Romm

Former GOP Rep. Bob Inglis is “urging conservatives to stop denying that humans are contributing to global warming.”

Inglis, a South Carolina Republican beaten by the Tea Party in 2010, is launching the “Energy and Enterprise Initiative” at George Mason University to push “conservative solutions to America’s energy and climate challenges.”

The National Journal (subs. req’d) reports:

The campaign will push one policy: a new tax on carbon pollution or gasoline consumption, paired with a cut in the income or payroll tax, creating a revenue-neutral, market-driven solution to an environmental problem while cutting taxes that conservatives dislike.

In short, the party of monolithic knee-jerk climate denial turns out to be bilithic. Okay, technically, a bilith is “a prehistoric monument composed of two stones usu. constituting a pillar capped by a slab.”

And it’s true that the national GOP is now prehistoric when it comes to climate science (see National Journal: “The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones”). But as recently as 2008, climate change was not a hyper-politicized issue — the presidential candidates’ position on climate science was a nonissue since both agreed on the science. Republicans today, however, have become synonymous with climate denialism, staying silent as the country bears the hottest 12 months on record.

But we at Climate Progress prefer to see the glass as 1/10 full rather than 9/10 empty — or, if you prefer a more optimistic spin, a glass that’s completely full (but mostly with air). After all, this new initiative isn’t just Inglis:

On its own, Inglis’s voice might not be enough to change the Republican conversation about climate change. But he has the support of Gregory Mankiw, economic advisor to the Mitt Romney campaign and the former chief economist of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers; Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the influential conservative think tank American Action Forum, former head of Bush’s Council on Economic Advisers, and economic adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign; Art Laffer, the prominent conservative economist and former senior adviser to President Reagan; and George Shultz, Reagan’s secretary of State, along with a slew of other conservative economic thinkers.

Read the full article here

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