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March 7, 2007

GOP consultant says party can be green and not "anti-freedom"

Posted by David Postman at 10:14 AM

Last week I linked to a post from Eric Earling who offered this challenge:

Off the top of your head, name a prominent Republican in Washington state who talks a good game on the environment. You know, someone who has stood on the proverbial stage with Democrats and offered a compelling case for Republican positions on related issues.

I can't think of one.

The discussion in the comments unfortunately veered into other territory and few focused on the issue. But Todd Myers, who has spent a large chunk of his career working on greenish GOP issues, took Earling's post seriously and questions the underlying assumptions.

Myers worked for Republican Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland. He's a consultant these days, but also is director of the Center for Environmental Policy at the conservative Washington Policy Center.

In an e-mail to Earling • which he cc'd me on • Myers says if Earling was looking for someone to "stand up with Democrats" he offers his former boss. He also names a few Republicans lawmakers.

But Myers is not one who thinks Republicans get their green credentials from thinking like Democrats. "Looking to those across the aisle for approval, however, is a strange standard," he said. To read Myers' thoughts it's clear that he thinks Republicans can care about the environment and still be conservative.

Some Republicans and conservatives fear that addressing the environment means they must support the government-run, anti-freedom agenda of environmental activists. Many conservatives are working on real solutions that address environmental concerns. Many more will do so when we stop looking to liberals as the standard for environmental purity.

Many Republicans who are seen as environmentalists are moderates on other issues as well. You don't hear them calling the mainstream environmental agena "anti-freedom." Myers' counsel is for Republicans to not measure themselves against the conventional wisdom of what constitutes a green credential.

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