CRES annually honors policy makers who have been steadfast leaders in driving and supporting clean energy legislation as our Clean Energy Champions and typically announces the winners during National Clean Energy Week (NCEW). We will be profiling each of this year’s Champions in more depth on the CRES blog; in case you missed them, we have already profiled U.S. Senators Rob Portman of Ohio and Mike Braun of Indiana, and U.S. Representative Frank Lucas of Oklahoma.
Our final Clean Energy Champion this year is Utah’s U.S. Representative John Curtis, who promotes reasoned discussion and thorough education for, and amongst, conservative lawmakers.
Republican legislators have long been seen as climate-change skeptics, leaving little room for discussion and progress from the right—essentially eliminating thoughtful input from conservatives on this issue. That has been disappointing for both Republicans and bipartisan clean energy advocates, but thankfully, Rep. Curtis is working to change that.
Most notably, he recently spearheaded the creation of the Conservative Climate Caucus.
“The purpose of this caucus is to prepare Republicans to answer questions… to have thoughtful answers, to bring important solutions to the table, to be part of the debate” said Rep. Curtis in a recent interview with NPR’s Sarah McCammon. Conservatives have been painted as climate change skeptics, “but if you really sit down and ask people how they feel about being good stewards over the Earth, you get a very different response.”
In a June press release announcing the formation of the Caucus, Rep. Curtis reiterated “…the Caucus will be focused on educating Republican House Members on conservative climate solutions that align with Republican principles and are based on an agenda that will make real progress through American innovation and ultimately enhance American prosperity.”
Prior to his election to Congress in a special election in 2017, Rep. Curtis was a small-business owner who became the 45th mayor of Provo City, serving two terms and enjoying an approval rating of 93 percent during his tenure. He is a native of Salt Lake City and graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in business management.
Throughout his time in the House of Representatives, Rep. Curtis has taken the lead in bringing renewed focus to the climate both from an international and free-market perspective. He is a champion for “exporting clean energy resources and technology,” a champion for Republicans, and a champion for saving our planet.
In June, Rep. Curtis was appointed to the House GOP Energy, Climate, and Conservation Task Force, and he said that this task force was important “because leaving the earth better than we found it is an important priority for Republicans and the American people.”
CRES seized the opportunity to endorse Rep. Curtis for a second term representing Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, and we are eager to continue working with him in years to come. Rep. Curtis is not only a 2021 Clean Energy Champion, but a driving force in educating and normalizing climate change as an urgent issue for Republican lawmakers.