Osha Gray Davidson’s new column for Forbes starts with an analysis of the Tea Party’s influence on the election:
In late June of 2009, conservative and new Tea Party bloggers promised swift retribution for the eight lone Republicans who had voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (a.k.a., the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill).
Climate change is not a third rail for Republicans. Much depends on demographics, of course. But the fact remains that no other group of GOP legislators was so specifically targeted for defeat by the Tea Party movement as the Cap and Trade 8. When the shouting was all over, only one of them was voted out.
Jim DiPeso, policy director at Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP), draws an even more important lesson for the big picture.
We desperately need a national energy and climate policy, he says, and to get it, “we need buy-in from both parties.” DiPeso continues:
What a future energy/climate bill might look like is very difficult to predict now, but if it includes a wide enough array of benefits and the backers don’t let the troglodytes hang a “cap and tax” or some such label on it, then such a bill would have a reasonable shot of passing. A smart political strategy that has a clear and compelling message that is driven home hard would be essential.
Cynics may point to the very real political and ideological divides in our nation. Still, we can’t simply give up on an issue that is so vital to the national interest — and to the interest of the entire world.
“The game is not over,” DiPeso points out. “Energy issues will not go away.”