Exxon Mobile and Chevron-funded climate denier Marc Morano and the Koch Brothers-funded Heritage Foundation make misleading and divisive statements, but most Americans are not fooled. We know human-caused climate change requires significant action soon. According to a 2019 Luntz Global poll, a 4-to-1 majority of voters supports a carbon dividend to reduce carbon emissions. A 2-to-1 majority of Republican voters supports the measure, and 75 percent of Republicans under 40 favor a carbon dividend. In fact, a new advocacy group, Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends, encourages Republicans to support carbon dividend legislation.
Because of their constituents' changing views, Republican members of Congress are seriously looking for solutions to climate change. According to an article in The Hill by conservative Jim Tolbert, prominent conservatives in Congress are expressing their concern with and desire to address climate change. Florida Republican congressman Matt Gaetz posted on Facebook: "I didn't come to Congress to argue with a thermometer, and I think that more of my colleagues need to realize that the science of global warming is irrefutable." Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts stated everyone in his agriculture-heavy state realizes climate change is happening, and the issue is "obvious." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said, "I'm a Republican who believes the greenhouse gas effect is real, that climate change is being affected by man-made behavior." Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, representing the largest coal producing state, said, "The climate is changing and we, collectively, have a responsibility to do something about it."
Republicans recognize their responsibility for climate action by reviewing and supporting free market solutions such as a carbon fee and dividend to lower emissions. Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick introduced the Market Choice Act to put a fee on carbon emissions, eliminate the gas tax and invest in infrastructure. Florida Rep. Francis Rooney is an original co-sponsor of the bipartisan Energy Innovation Act, H.R.763, another free market policy that would price carbon and return carbon dividends to every American. It would give businesses a chance to choose what is best for their bottom line and for a sustainable environment. Under the Energy Innovation Act, most hardworking Americans would have more money in their pockets than before. It is great to see Republicans and Democrats working together to find climate solutions.