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Republican Jay Faison Launches Super PAC To Fund Candidates Supporting Clean Energy

[Update] Editor’s Note: As readers have pointed out, ClearPath’s 4 pillars of “conservative clean energy” are: (1) Clean coal and Gas, (2) Nuclear, (3) Hydropower, (4) Innovation. LOL. We thought this guy was serious for a few minutes. Well, at least it’s a small step in the right direction. Right?… [More details on why these pillars are a joke under the article.*] –Zachary Shahan

To some observers, the terms ‘climate activist’ and ‘Republican candidate’ are best viewed as oxymorons — that is, unless you happen to be North Carolina businessman Jay Faison.

clearpath action logo 334697LOGOOn February 18th, the North Carolina entrepreneur announced the formation of ClearPath Action, a new independent political action committee being established to help elect Republicans to public office and advance a conservative clean energy policy agenda for GOP lawmakers.

“No one is currently providing enough support to candidates who embrace conservative clean energy principles and feel compelled to talk about clean energy as part of their campaign,” said Faison in a press statement. “We’re forming this committee to make an impact, provide support, and help Republicans this election cycle and in future election cycles.”

Unlike a plethora of Republican climate change deniers, Faison is smart, opportunistic, and practical. This 49-year old Republican entrepreneur and conservative philanthropist was founder and CEO of SnapAV.

“We know that Democrats are using clean energy as a wedge issue and we’re committed to fighting back and going on offense for the GOP,” added Faison. “We don’t have to agree on climate change to agree that Republicans can support a conservative clean energy platform that provides energy security, creates jobs and boosts our economy, and reduces pollution.”

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal blog, Faison said he does not see having a broad consensus on climate change as essential to creating a clean energy platform. He also supports natural gas.

“If we expand our clean energy technologies, we’ll create more jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy … and reduce carbon pollution,” he said. “You would do this on its merits even if you believed that climate change was not a threat. … Who’s not for more innovation and less regulation?”

The current announcement of this PAC follows last summer when Faison launched the ClearPath Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at promoting market-based solutions to develop clean energy. According to the ClearPath website, the organization’s mission is to “accelerate conservative clean energy solutions.”

Its polling section, which highlights the broad support for clean energy, quotes a strategist as saying, “The best messaging on clean energy de-politicizes climate and emphasizes the wide array of benefits that clean energy provides.”

Credit: SnapAVAt that time, Faison wrote, “I’m a Republican. I Want My Party to Tackle Climate Change. And I’m spending $175 million of my own money to get them to act.”

He then included a glimpse into his own history.

“If you’d told me 15 years ago that this would be my cause, I would have laughed. I grew up the son of a real estate developer who loved the outdoors but disliked ‘crazy environmentalists,’ and I followed suit. But over time — after poring over the research and talking to scores of scientists like the climate experts at MIT and NASA, all of whom now believe we need urgent action — I concluded that this is one of the biggest risks and opportunities of our lifetimes.”

Regardless of political persuasion, Mr. Faison’s approach toward a clean energy future is a worthwhile undertaking.

Images via PR Newswire and ClearPath Foundation

*Why ClearPath’s “clean energy” pillars are a sad joke:

  1. “Clean coal and gas” = oxymoron. Coal and gas are dirty as he**. Furthermore, attempts to make them a bit less dirty result in them being so crazy expensive that no sane Earthling would consider approving/funding/buying such power plants. “Clean coal and gas,” in other words, is deceitful as well as unrealistically expensive, which prices is out of the market without massive government subsidies. Also, btw, wind power and even solar power are already cheaper than dirty coal (not even including externalities), including in “cheap-coal” markets like India….
  2. Nuclear power is insanely expensive and takes ages to build. The only places building nuclear power plants are places where the government and/or ratepayers massively subsidize the plants rather than choosing much cheaper actual clean energy options. Why anyone would choose to do this (who wasn’t engaging in an obviously corrupt scam to enrich themselves or friends/family) can only come down to pure lack of information or reasoning skills.
  3. Let’s hope he’s referring to sustainable hydro. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that’s not the story.
  4. Ah, “innovation.” That slick way of saying, “let’s defer deployment.” Yeah, perfect solution….
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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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