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Letters to the Editor, July 11, 2021

July 10, 2021 at 8:30 p.m.

To the Editor:

Bruce Westerman Brings Natural Solutions Knowledge to Climate Caucus

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not strange to use the words “conservative” and “climate” together in a sentence. A champion of natural climate solutions, Representative Bruce Westerman has proven this over and over again, this time by joining a newly-formed caucus.

The Conservative Climate Caucus, led by Utah Congressman John Curtis, is another step toward meaningful Republican action on environmental reform. While environmental conversations tend to be politically fraught, conservatives have a deep-rooted legacy of environmental stewardship. Teddy Roosevelt is the father of our national parks, Richard Nixon created the EPA, and George H.W. Bush signed critical amendments to the Clean Air Act. Even more recently, climate-minded Republicans championed the Great American Outdoors Act and Energy Act of 2020. This caucus is further proof that Republicans are returning to their conservation roots.

As a young conservative, I’m grateful for not only the formation of this caucus, but also the actions of its members up to this point. In the last five years, congressional Republicans have reclaimed environmental issues, including climate change, as an issue they are ready to tackle. By championing clean energy solutions – including nuclear power, emissions-reducing technologies, natural climate solutions, and conservation efforts – Republicans have had an integral role in pushing the needle forward on environmental progress.

Importantly, conservative principles, such as capitalism and the free market, are the principles that will be most effective in solving our environmental challenges. It’s a false dichotomy to say economic and environmental progress are mutually exclusive, and conservatives are leading the way on economically-sound solutions. It’s imperative we have their voices in the climate change conversation.

Representative Westerman has worked on these issues as the lead Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee. As Congress’s only forester, he brings a unique perspective about natural climate solutions through initiatives such as the Trillion Trees Act. Also a passionate outdoor sportsman, Westerman has highlighted the important role America’s hunters and anglers– the original conservationists – play in environmental stewardship.

This new caucus proves once again that while Republicans do not embrace progressive environmentalism, they care deeply about the future of our planet. As conservatives, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work on this issue, and the Conservative Climate Caucus now proudly demonstrates that to all Americans. It’s no longer a binary choice between alarmism and denial. There’s a path forward for pragmatic, commonsense solutions to leave our environment even better than we found it.

Gabrielle Harvey

Hot Springs

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