A conservative environmental organization held a college campus gathering this week in Missouri.
The group Republic-EN staged a forum Monday at Washington University in St. Louis called Conservative Approaches to Climate Change. The organization’s Alex Bozmoski claims it’s time for people he refers to as the “eco-right” to provide a counter balance to the environmental left on the issue. “The country is way better off when you have both parties competing for America’s trust on issues” said Bozmoski. “Only one side is competing on climate change right now. That gives us some really bad policy. And it’s also hurting conservatives politically.”
Bozmoski contends Republic-EN is building a constituency for a conservative leadership on climate, which wants to see conservative leaders have the courage to put forward solutions that are better than those proposed by the environmental left.
Republic-EN claims it opposes environmental regulations and favors free market solutions to climate change.
Bozmoski says the conservative approach to climate change would take the form of environmental tax reform. “Environmental tax reform is the principle of putting a tax on things that are bad, like pollution, and using the revenue to take taxes off of things that are good, like income.”
Republic-EN favors a carbon tax which would impose levies on polluters, but be offset by income tax cuts. Bozmoski also contends environmentalism is now dominated by liberals, who are irresponsibly dismissing the future of nuclear power and natural gas. “Nuclear power and natural gas are our two most important methods of avoiding CO2 emissions” said Bozmoski. “It’s irresponsible, in my view, for the environmental left to suggest the phasing out of nuclear power and fracking, and at the same time suggest 80 percent emissions cuts by 2050. It’s just a remarkable incongruity between reality and ideology.”
Republic-EN is headed by former South Carolina Republican Congressman Bob Inglis, who served in the same seat in two separate six-year runs, from 1992-1998 and from 2004-2010.
He blamed the “tea party” for his defeat in 2010. Bozmoski says Inglis martyred himself by being a Republican who proposed a carbon tax and stuck to his guns on climate change.
The Republic-EN website says Inglis based the heart of the organization on advancing climate policy that is based on four major pillars – limited government, accountability, free enterprise and environmental stewardship.
Its forum at Washington University in St. Louis was held for College Republicans and the Federalist Society.