Rise of the Clean Energy Republican

Worried that a Republican House and Senate spells doom for the environment? It may help to know there are Republicans in the House who believe in climate change and clean energy.

chat Posted Nov 21, 2016 by Rezwan | Category : Teams
Comment Below

Meet the Clean Energy Republicans

President-elect aside, the good news is there is a growing conservative clean energy movement. Your definition of “clean energy” may vary, but this is something to work with. 

General Election 2016.
Fifteen Republicans ran on a “Clean Energy is Good Politics” platform. Thirteen of them won seats, with an assist from the ClearPath Action Fund. Follow the link for more about each candidate.

And now for some backstory.

Gibson Resolution

While they are in the minority, a growing number of Republicans are working to get the others to officially recognize climate change. In September of 2015, New York Republican Congressman Chris Gibson introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives (H. Res 424 - pdf) to recognize the impact of climate change and call for action to reduce future risk.

While it has yet to pass, it picked up 14 GOP co-sponsors and can be seen a breakthrough for Republicans. It is a step towards bipartisan solutions which should be encouraged. What can you do to encourage movement in this direction?

Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus

Another initiative to keep your eye on is the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. Formed February 1, 2016 by Ted Deutch D and Carlos Curbelo R of Florida.

Of course, Florida!

It makes sense that the Climate Solutions Caucus started in the State with the most to lose by sea-level rise.

Photo by Seth Doyle

Two by Two, Republican + Democrat

Membership in the Climate Solutions Caucus is kept even between Democrats and Republicans. In other words, Congressfolk can only join the caucus in bipartisan pairs.

If your representatives are not part of the caucus and you would like them to be, let them know. You are the citizen. It’s your job. Communicate your preferences to your representatives.

And now some words on behalf of a great organization:

Speaking of citizen action, a shout out to Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) volunteer Jay Butera, for getting things started with Ted Deutch and Carlos Curbelo. And a shout out to the CCL in general.

If you are drawn to policy plays, Join the CCL! They have a robust gameplan for bipartisan action on climate. They have chapters in every state you can join, with awesome people to hang out with! CCL is working systematically to pass a carbon fee and dividend.

Conservative Clean Energy Agenda

And now for the fine print. The conservative approach to clean energy favors clean coal and gas via carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), also hydro power and nuclear power. For the record, Hillary Clinton was also supportive of nuclear power.

For more information on conservative clean energy strategy, check out Clearpath.org. 

Zero Carbon Coaching for Divided Teammates

Many environmentalists prefer a strict 100 percent renewable energy approach and are inclined to dismiss the conservative approach as, at best, a distraction. In turn, the conservative environmentalists mock the 100 percent renewable approach as woefully inadequate. And while they argue, the rest of the country wallows in denial or hides among the bystanders.

How do we coach our most engaged players to move to zero carbon as quickly as possible despite their differences?

Here at Footprint to Wings, we are trans partisan. We believe in putting all the plays on the table and letting citizens explore, debate and decide what their preferred plays are, and then execute the plays. By setting things up as a 50 state race, it will be possible to have some States pursue the conservative clean energy approach while others mount a 100 percent renewable approach. At some point, we think everyone will recognize the need for a diverse portfolio of solutions.

At the end of the day, the question isn’t, “what is the most pure, good, environmental thing we can do?” In the race to zero carbon, the goal is “a net zero carbon economy with the best quality of life.”

The questions you need to ask as a zero carbon coach are:

In this light, given that the use of coal is growing world wide, an aggressive CCS policy has its advantages. It can at least offset the emissions. Nuclear also has many advantages, but gets a bad rap. Hydro? Inspired by Damnation, I’d like to see more dams dismantled.

But it’s not about any one person’s (or one group’s) preferences. It’s about the combined preferences of all the players (citizens, organizations) in your state and region. What portfolio of plays will you all choose to execute in the end?

Coaching Tip:
Check out Livingroom Conversations for a good teamwork exercise. It’s all about bringing together people with very different views on how things should be done. If we’re going to successfully execute zero carbon solutions, we need to get really good at talking through our differences and finding common ground.

Thank you for reading this far!

That’s it for our conservative clean energy post! What are we missing?

We would love your feedback and advice. Please comment below.

And thank you in advance for sharing this post!

How to leverage the election results to your favor in the race to zero carbon
Tax the Robots, it’s Cyber Monday!

Comments chat

comments powered by Disqus