Meet the ‘eco right’ pushing for a carbon fee
From Governors’ Wind and Solar Energy Coalition:
In 2012, the Heartland Institute, one of the leading groups questioning global warming science, launched a digital billboard campaign featuring Ted Kaczynski, the “Unabomber.”
The ad read, “I still believe in global warming, do you?”
Following the campaign, some Heartland members working on insurance issues decided it was time to break off and start their own outfit that took climate change seriously.
“We still have a friendly relationship with [Heartland],” said Josiah Neeley, senior fellow, energy policy director and Southwest region chief for the R Street Institute. But as insurance brokers, R Street employees understood risk, he said.
“If you’re dealing in insurance, you need to be able to take climate change seriously. Because it’s not realistic if you’re talking about sea-level rise, storms, droughts, floods, you name it,” Neeley said.
R Street, founded in June 2012, is a think tank that promotes free markets and limited government. The group supports a carbon tax. Neeley said R Street applies conservative values and principles to address the warming planet.
“The most common or strongest objection that we get from folks when we talk about this stuff is the idea that it’s not politically realistic in one way or another,” he said.
“Being skeptical about government implementation I think is a fair point,” Neeley said, “but there are a lot of things that we advocate for that would be pretty major changes to policy, and knowing politicians are flawed vessels I don’t think that means that we should just give up.”