From: Roger Cohn, Yale Environment360
Published February 14, 2013 06:45 AM

Not ALL Conservatives Doubt Climate Change

Republican Bob Inglis’ statement that he believed in human-caused climate change helped cost him his seat in Congress. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, Inglis explains why he is now trying to persuade his fellow conservatives that their principles can help save the planet.

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Heresy may have cost Bob Inglis his seat in the U.S. Congress. As a six-term Republican congressman from one of South Carolina’s most conservative districts, Inglis told an audience at a 2010 campaign event that he believed in human-caused climate change. The fallout from that comment helped ensure his defeat by a Tea Party-backed candidate.

After leaving Congress, Inglis established the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University. The organization has taken on a daunting mission — to convince American conservatives that climate change is real and that free enterprise principles hold the keys for dealing with it. Inglis favors removing all fuel subsidies — from solar and wind to fossil fuels — and imposing a carbon tax as the fairest way to make polluters pay for the greenhouse gas emissions they cause.

In an interview with Yale Environment 360 editor Roger Cohn, Inglis talked about his own evolution from being a climate change denier; why he opposes cap-and-trade schemes; why conservatives have been so reluctant to acknowledge that climate change is real: and why his group is focusing its efforts on college Republicans. "We're trying to convince conservatives that they are more important to this than they ever imagined," he said, "because they have the answer, which is free enterprise. And it's a better answer than a regulatory regime."

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