GOP forum will address environment

As originally published in Greenville Online, here

The debate over our environment has been politicized for years in this country. Environmentalists on the left have often tried to control the debate, especially over the future of clean energy alternatives. They argue the government must continue to further regulate the energy industry.

Many conservatives — me included — want an “all of the above” strategy to energy policy. We believe that more regulations killing the energy industry will only make us more reliant on Middle Eastern nations that hate us. It is an important debate and one that has finally found its way into the presidential primary in South Carolina.

This year’s presidential race is one for the ages. The rise and fall of many well-known candidates and the spirited infusion of new ideas has been remarkable. One of those new issues is the debate over energy public policy and clean energy alternatives.

Christian conservatives care about the stewardship of God’s gifts to all of us. We care about the role humans play in preserving the earth for the generations to come.

I want my children to continue to experience the beautiful sunsets in the foothills of the Upstate, the pristine lakes and parks that make Greenville a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. Many evangelicals are talking about this issue for the right reasons. It is time for all the presidential candidates and the traveling press corps to begin to take notice.

The fact is that in most of the early primary states there are a great number in the GOP primary electorate that is tired of ceding the issue of environmental sustainability to liberals.

This coalition of persuadable voters — comprised of Christian conservatives, suburban women, Republican-leaning independents and millennials — all want to hear the GOP presidential field offer conservative solutions that seize upon the free market to create jobs, protect our tax dollars, secure our homeland and preserve our environment.

Many of these same voters will have a unique opportunity to hear from the Republican candidates at a special Faith and Family Forum at Bob Jones University on Friday, Feb. 12, hosted by Palmetto Family, Attorney General Alan Wilson and sponsored by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES).

Late last fall, CRES commissioned a field survey of Republican primary voters in South Carolina on their views on conservative leadership toward clean energy reforms.

The results of the survey showed that a large majority of Republican primary voters are “more likely” to support a candidate who supports a clean energy plan promoting diversification and the growth of clean energy sources, like wind, solar and hydropower.


The debate is just starting here in South Carolina. I hope you will join me and a number of likely Republican primary voters at the Faith and Family Forum on the campus of Bob Jones University, at noon Friday, Feb.12.

This forum will allow Republican presidential candidates the opportunity to hear from Christian conservatives who care about being responsible stewards of God’s creation. It’s an issue that should be an integral part of any serious conservative issue agenda in 2016.

Randy Page served as a member of the 2012 Republican National Convention’s Platform Committee and currently serves as Director of Public Relations at Bob Jones University.

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