September 25, 2019

Sarah Hunt Addresses the Question: Is Climate Bipartisanship Possible?

By Jacqueline Isaacs

Environmental policy experts gathered this week in Middleburg, Virginia, for a conversation hosted by The Breakthrough Institute titled Ecomodernism 2019: Environmental Policy After Neoliberalism? Attendees addressed a variety of questions, including the following:

  • Why, despite the nostalgia of the Green New Deal, is almost no one involved advocating for public power?
  • Does the Populist right have a vision for the environment beyond exploiting it?
  • Is there still a role for markets and innovation?

Sarah Hunt, CEO and co-founder of the Rainey Center, participated in the keynote panel on Monday night which asked the question, is climate bipartisanship possible? As a leader in conservative clean energy policy, Hunt was able to provide a vision of climate action that was founded on traditional, conservative values, one that surprised and encouraged many in attendance.

The panel also included Ken Kimmel of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Josh Freed of Third Way, and it was moderated by Rob Meyer of The Atlantic. The panel discussed the following:

Today there is little support on the Republican side of the aisle for either. And yet, important, if less high profile legislation to support nuclear and carbon capture technologies has recently passed Congress with strong bipartisan support. A number of Republican members of Congress have publicly called for a tax on carbon. And strong bipartisan coalitions in the House and Senate have defended energy innovation budgets. In this panel, we ask whether climate bipartisanship is dead, or whether it is just mostly proceeding out of view? Is a grand bargain between Democrats and Republicans on a carbon tax possible and is Congress even capable of ambitiously legislating anymore? Does progress on climate change even require climate legislation? Can Republicans offer an alternative to Democratic calls for caps, regulations, treaties, and renewables subsidies? Is there an alternative Republican agenda to be constructed with nuclear energy, carbon capture, natural gas, and adaptation?

Learn more about the event here: Ecomodernism 2019: Environmental Policy After Neoliberalism?

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