Rupp: Why GOP Should Support Renewables

Former Republican state senator and current commissioner of the Public Service Commission Scott Rupp offers reasons that Republicans should get behind renewable energy.  See it here.

First: There’s room for everyone! Many of my fellow Republicans need to realize that if you embrace renewables, you aren’t turning your back on oil, gas, coal, nuclear, etc. You simply understand the economics of affordability of new technology, and the impact it is having on the marketplace.

Second: Renewable energy is not a leftist movement. Too many elected officials of my party have made that assumption in the past. Here’s an example:  When I was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, an issue came up that dealt with individuals with disabilities. I was told by party leadership “Don’t waste your time. Those aren’t people that support us; you will never get their support. All they want is more and more government”.  I was shocked that this mindset was rampant among my colleagues.  When did disabilities become partisan? Well flash forward to the end of my political career and we saw numerous programs for kids with disabilities reformed, and serving the population better. I passed landmark autism insurance legislation, and today Missouri is considered by many one of the best states for how we serve individuals with disabilities. And this was accomplished mostly by Republicans. Today, disability issues in Missouri are not partisan, and I think the same thing can be done for renewable energy.

Third: Green = $. When you hear green energy, don’t let your mind immediately go “Green = green peace. Green peace = protestors. Protestors = 1960’s hippies with their free love and organic food. Organic food = Jolly Green Giant. Jolly Green Giant = men in green tights. Men in green tights = the far left agenda” and so on and so on. Instead, think Green = money. It is fiscally prudent to support renewable energy. Think of it this way – energy efficiency saves you and your business money. Having renewables as part of your energy mix, is the same as having a diverse portfolio. You would never have 100% of your retirement plan in one or two stocks.  Why not diversify your energy mix as well. It is smart, it is prudent, and if you look at the numbers, it makes economic sense.

Finally: Focus on Jobs. The family trying to pay for their kids’ education and make the house payment doesn’t care if the latest study about global warming is wrong. They care about their family and keeping or getting good paying jobs. As republicans, we love jobs, especially family supporting jobs. The last time I looked, the new technologies in the energy industry around wind and solar and smart metering were creating jobs and new third party cottage industries.  The new modernized grid will have third party vendors and entrepreneurs popping up to fill niche markets we haven’t even thought of yet. Self-starting, risk taking, smart people are looking to start and grow a business, hire people, make money and impact the community in which they live, work and play.…

 

Originally in November 17 MOScout