What do conservative policy intellectuals think about climate change?
Eli Lehrer, president and cofounder of the R Street Institute
Lehrer previously worked at the Heritage Foundation and the Heartland Institute, then cofounded R Street as a reality-based free-market think tank in part because of Heartland’s refusal to accept climate science. (Lehrer raised money for his programs at Heartland from the insurance industry, which cannot afford to deny the reality of climate change.) Lehrer tries to convince conservatives to support a carbon tax on the grounds that the revenue can be used to reduce other taxes. His substantive policy positions are quite reasonable. The problem is that until he builds enough support among Republicans to pass a carbon tax, he thinks Democrats should “be willing to wait” instead of doing what can be done under existing law.
Quote: “President Obama’s various proposals to deal with climate change have deep flaws. But that doesn’t mean the problem they seek to address isn’t genuine. Conservatives should care about global warming. And, just as liberals have done for almost 20 years, they should use the issue as a way to promote policies they already favor.”