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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

19 December 2017

New campaign to convince Republicans to support renewable energy

A new conservative group has launched a campaign aiming to convince members of the Republican party about the advantages of renewable energy in Wisconsin, US.

The Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum is part of a national campaign initiated 4 years ago to help Republicans appreciate the advantages renewable energy sources can offer.

The initiative will be run by Republicans for Republicans, meaning that there may be a slight wind of change within a party that has repeatedly questioned the scientific consensus behind global warming.

Scott Coenen, the group's Executive Director, said: “We just don’t come in with the preconceived notions and mental baggage the others do”.

“Conservatives need to emphasize the development of cheap, reliable and cost-effective energy. To do that, we need to recognize that advances in technology increasingly mean renewable and alternative energy fits that description: cheap, reliable and cost-effective”, he added.

 He also explained that the time is now right as solar, wind and other renewable energy sources are cost competitive with fossil fuels. He pledged that he will be talking with Republicans at every level to prove to them that “renewable and clean do not need to be dirty words on the right”.

The organisation will work to bring conservatives to the table to discuss the changing energy landscape in Wisconsin, and the developments in the energy markets, including  the positive impact that renewable energy and energy efficiency has on jobs and economic development.

The chairman of the group is Tommy Thompson, the state’s longest-serving governor and secretary of Health and Human Services in the George W. Bush administration.

The organisation will not register as a lobby group, but as a charity with the sole purpose of advocating for more renewable energy in the state and educating policymakers.

The Forum already includes well-known leaders throughout the state including high-profile politicians and business representatives such as former Governor Tommy Thompson, former state representative Mark Honadel, the Vice President of Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Debbie Crave and Matt Neumann, President of Sunvest Solar and Neumann companies. 

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