The summer kicked off in May with CRES and the Conservative Energy Network organizing dozens of business leaders, farmers, state officials, and other conservative advocates from around the country to participate in a series of meetings with Republicans in Congress.
The “fly-in”—once again held virtually this year—stressed to conservative lawmakers the economic benefits of the clean energy sector at a time when the country needs an economic boost and Americans need jobs. More than 65 meetings were held virtually over three days and included folks from Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indian, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
In addition to the GOP’s “Energy Innovation Agenda,” fly-in participants focused on several bipartisan measures with lawmakers, including the Growing Climate Solutions Act (GCSA), the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act, the BUILDER Act, and the American Critical Minerals Independence Act.
Republicans in Congress responded by quickly by taking steps to implement their agenda by establishing a Republican Energy, Climate, and Conservation Task Force and the House Conservative Climate Caucus, led by U.S. Representative John Curtis (R-UT). CRES worked closely with Rep. John Curtis and his team to launch the House Conservative Climate Caucus. Heather Reams, CRES executive director, spoke at the press conference on Capitol Hill on launch day.
The GCSA, a Republican-led bill, passed 92 to 8 in the U.S. Senate with more Republicans voting for the bill than Democrats. Passage marked a free-market win for agriculture producers, businesses, and the climate. It is a solution that affirms conservative values by helping reduce emissions in agriculture without imposing heavy-handed government mandates, new taxes, or unnecessary regulations that drive up the cost of food and energy production. CRES followed up this victory with a six-figure advertising campaign urging Republicans in the House to back the GCSA.
Meanwhile, the infrastructure debate on Capitol Hill stole the headlines. While Americans supported traditional infrastructure investment—especially energy infrastructure—the legislative process became mired in far-left Democrats’ demands for trillions in excessive social spending. The politics were poorly managed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who eventually split the bills into two, and the package was nearly derailed completely on several occasions.
CRES responded with a multistate $1.5 million broadcast and digital advertising campaign to raise awareness about the importance of passing a bipartisan infrastructure package and to garner support for investing in projects to improve America’s roads and bridges, strengthen our country’s competitiveness, and secure our power grid from foreign cyber-attacks.
Next up in our 2021 Year in Review blog series – Fall! Stay tuned!