CALL FOR ACTION AT BOTTOM OF THIS POST
The Climate Solutions Caucus is composed of 90 congresswomen and men. It is often referred to as the “Noah’s Ark” caucus because only two people at a time—a Democrat and a Republican—can join. That means there are 45 Republicans who’ve stood up and said, “Climate change is a major issue and I’m willing to work across the aisle to find solutions.”
Now, that’s a dangerous thing to do. Bob Inglis was a congressman from South Carolina and enjoyed one of the highest conservative rankings in Congress. We’re proud to say we had a little input with Bob when he sought out the science of climate change and heeded the counsel of his adult children. So, when Bob announced climate change was a problem which deserved serious consideration by Congress…he immediately drew a primary challenge from his right. Trey Gowdy beat Bob and went on to a seat in Congress. Bob went on to win the Profiles in Courage Award from the JFK Library at Harvard.
The greatest environmental acts in our nation’s history enjoyed strong bipartisan support. That insures those acts are long lasting and withstand the swinging political pendulum in America. It’s a good thing, right, that we have a Caucus in Congress working on solutions to what many consider an existential threat?
Well, apparently not in the eyes of the venerable Sierra Club. The Club has endorsed against 28 of the 45 Republicans on the caucus. Let us say that again: the Sierra Club is working to defeat more than half of the Republicans who’ve stood up on climate change.
A lot of groups have worked really hard over the past decade to get us to this point. A Moral Call to Action, a coalition of faith groups, started the ball rolling. Then Citizens Climate Lobby really went to work and launched the caucus. Hundreds of thousands of individual members of the coalition groups and CCL spent countless hours convincing members of Congress to join. At the moment, there are another 30 or so Republicans who are on the cusp of joining. CCL, alone, has 487 chapters in the US with nearly 2 million members!
But, if Sierra Club is successful in defeating the Republicans who stand up on climate change, what message does that send to remaining Republicans in Congress or future Republican candidates? The message it delivers—very loud and very clear—is don’t ever work with Sierra Club and paint them as radicals who’ve weaponized the environment for an unknown agenda. (Essentially, Sierra Club is reinforcing the Frank Luntz playbook from 2002, when Luntz told Republicans they were vulnerable on environmental issues and to paint anyone who cares about the environment as radicals.)
ConservAmerica has been fighting back against that poor advice since Luntz issued it, and the actions of big green this election cycle are a huge set back in those efforts.
Imagine if the venerable Sierra Club put its grassroots muscle behind all 45 Republican members of the caucus (all 90 bipartisan members, in fact). What signal would that send? “Hey, we have the back of any Republican or conservative who takes a stand on climate change!”
The equally venerable League of Conservation Voters is opposing 15 Republican members of the Climate Solutions Caucus.
So, who are these Republicans who are being opposed by big green groups?
The first one will make you want to tear your hair out in frustration. Carlos Curbleo, the co-founder and co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus!
Then there is Elise Stefanik, one of the great advocates of the Great Lakes and Adirondacks, who is the author of the “Stefanik Resolution”. The Stefanik Resolution was the first piece of legislation asking Republicans to go on the record to acknowledge climate change as an issue of importance.
Fred Upton (MI) and David Joyce (OH) are two other fantastic advocates for the Great Lakes on the hit list of big green. Mia Love, an African America female representing Utah (so much for the left’s call for diversity in Congress) is also targeted because she has an R after her name.
Nearly every one on this list also supports wonderful legislation like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, and the Restore Our Parks Act. What’s not to like, other than the political party they represent?
Here’s everyone being targeted by big green:
FLORIDA NEW YORK
Carlos Curbelo 26th Lee Zeldon 1st
Brian Mast 18th Peter King 2nd
Francis Rooney 19th John Faso 19th
Elise Stefanik 21st
PENNSYLVANIA Claudia Tenney 22nd
Ryan Costello 6th Tom Reed 23rd
Brian Fitzpatrick 8th Chris Collins 27th
Barbara Comstock 10th Jack Bergman 1st
Scott Taylor 2nd Fred Upton 6th
Pete Roskam 6th Erik Paulsen 3rd
Rodney Davis 13th
Randy Hultgren 14th
Don Bacon 2nd Mike Coffman 6th
Mike Gallagher 8th Mia Love 4th
David Joyce 14 Kevin Yoder 3rd
NEW JERSEY CALIFORNIA
Tom MacArthur 3rd Steve Knight 25th
Leonard Lance 7th
IF YOU BELIEVE STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT IS REQUIRED TO PASS MEANINGFUL, LONG LASTING ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSERVATION POLICY, PLEASE FORWARD THIS POST TO YOUR FRIENDS OR SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. WE NEED TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE PERCEPTION THAT ALL REPUBLICANS ARE ANTI-SCIENCE, ANTI-CONSERVATION. MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE NEED TO ‘HAVE THE BACKS’ OF ANY LEGISLATOR WHO TAKES A STAND ON ISSUES LIKE CLIMATE CHANGE.