Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Green Republicans

No, the phrase is not an oxymoron. There really are green Republicans.

Perhaps I sound idealistic because it’s obvious to most of us that some form of a “vacuum” exists between the different extremes of the Republican Party. On one side are Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt, Dan Evans, Ralph Munro or John McCain who are well known for promoting “conservation” as a Republican value. On the other side, we have Republicans like Tom Delay, George Bush and Dick Cheney who's behavior sometimes makes it difficult for us to put these two words together.

It seems a pity that many Republicans go apoplectic against those that they perceive as opposing their point of view, and who’s loathing of environmentalists and conservationism is worn like a badge of honor. Clean water, land, air and cities are a benefit to us all.

Last February, the Washington State Senate Republicans adopted an initiative to promote, sustain and protect the environment-while promoting energy independence and economic development.

In a press release dated February 7, 2007, the Senate Republicans tell us that it’s in everyone’s best interests to have a clean, healthy environment. In the initiative, Republican Senators outlined the following goals that promote alternative fuels, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and also encourages hydropower and nuclear power as clean energy sources:

Increase growth in state renewable fuels
Develop multipurpose water storage
Promote smart grid technology
Promote hydropower
Research the ability of Washington’s hydropower system

Address the impact of diminishing snow pack
Promote Healthy forests
Accelerate healthy forest operations
Encourage the growth of trees
Turn forest thinning into renewable fuels
Explore nuclear power
Accelerate hydropower production from wave and tidal energy
Attract “green business” companies

Educate and encourage consumers to use green energy

Promote wind power
Promote Odessa Aquifer restoration.
Promote the use of clean alternative fuel

While I do not agree with all of the initiatives put forward by the Republican Caucus, I do believe that many of the initiatives are a step in the right direction.
Perhaps I’m being overly optimistic in hoping that a Republican spokesman will emerge from our current crop of elected state officials. But it does seem a pity that Republicans continue to be viewed negatively by the public, when many have something good to offer.

I think its tiresome how republicans have allowed themselves to be backed into a corner while the Democrats control the debate on an issue that remains at the top of the list for many who live in the Puget Sound region.

After all, isn’t a clean, healthy environment a benefit to us all?

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