For conservatives, it’s the ‘right time’ to discuss climate change
“Environmentalism is actually very fertile territory” for Republicans, Levin said at event co-hosted by his magazine and the R Street Institute. He said the way that conservatives talk about climate change could be “no more helpful to the left.”
The event held in the Rayburn House Office Building symbolized a growing, if small, discussion about how Republicans could reorient their positions to deal with rising temperatures and an increasing collection of scientific findings on the effects of greenhouse gases.
A key theme was how to differentiate conservative climate action from liberal efforts, like President Obama’s regulatory regime known as the Clean Power Plan. Some of the speakers described those rules, which they see as expensive expansion of government, as a key motivator for acting more urgently on climate change.
Eli Lehrer, president of R Street and a proponent of revenue-neutral tax policies for carbon dioxide, suggested that he couldn’t support a carbon tax if it doesn’t eliminate the Clean Power Plan, currently being designed by U.S. EPA. That’s true, he indicated, even if the plan eliminated the corporate income tax.
“Without pre-emption … we shouldn’t do it,” Lehrer said of a carbon tax. But he noted that pre-emption is “quite realistic” because Democrats appear willing to the make the trade for a broader climate policy.