Four GOP Senators Announce Energy & Environment Working Group

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GOP working group will encourage greater dialogue on energy and environmental policy

U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have announced the formation of a Senate Energy and Environment Working Group that will focus on ways to protect the environment and climate while backing clean energy innovation that helps drive job creation.

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U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

Reaction was generally favorable. “The environment just got a boost from an unlikely source: Senate Republicans,” wrote Katie Valentine at ClimateProgress.

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) praised the news.

“A recent survey sponsored by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions showed 68% of registered voters strongly agreed that the U.S. should diversify its energy sources to include renewables. Since Republicans seized control of the Senate in January of 2015, a number of GOP senators have played key roles in advancing legislation in support of a clean energy agenda.” 

CRES backs renewable energy and natural gas in pursuit of a clean environment. According to Politico,  CRES will “spend $262,000 buying TV, radio, and newspaper ads in support of Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Starting this week, the group will buy full page ads in the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Concord Monitor, and several smaller papers in the state. The ads thank Ayotte for backing clean energy in the Senate.” They join a recent digital ad-buy from the Environmental Defense Fund in supporting Ayotte’s green credentials. Ayotte has made the environment a key part of her re-election campaign against Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan.”

On the other side of the table, seating human-caused climate change deniers, has been quiet to date. No announcement has yet been issued from The Heartland Institute, labeling itself as “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change.”

In Ayotte’s press announcement, the group stated it plans to meet periodically to discuss general energy and environmental issues and exchange ideas about potential legislation.

“The Energy and Environment Working Group will be a way for us to bring people together and start an ongoing conversation about these topics – like how we can best protect our environment and climate, pursue common sense and market-based reforms to grow our economy, and promote cleaner energy production,” said Ayotte.

Image: Kelly Ayotte gallery

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Glenn Meyers

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

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