CRES Executive Director James Dozier was in New Hampshire last week to meet with volunteers and community leaders supporting CRES’ work on the ground. During his visit, James spoke with WMUR’s Jon DiStaso about the organizations efforts building support for clean energy among conservative voters. What follows is DiStaso’s take
THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE GOP. “Are you ready for Republican leadership on energy and the environment?”
That’s the question asked in a recent mailer to 70,000 Republican presidential primary voters from a pro-Republican nonprofit that says Democrats should not be allowed to corner the market on energy source “diversity” and climate change.
Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions plans to have a strong presence in New Hampshire through both the primary and the 2016 general election. It has a New Hampshire-oriented website, nh.citizensfor.com, which includes videos of 14 presidential candidates answering questions on energy and the environment, a quick questionnaire on energy issues and a Republican presidential candidate preference survey.
“There are Republicans in the state and throughout the country who are ready for leadership on this issue, and they want to hear from the candidates on what they would do,” James Dozier, the group’s executive director, told New Hampshire Primary Source following Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s re-election launch on Tuesday night.
“What this effort evolves into will depend on the candidates themselves,” Dozier said. “We’re trying to find opportunities to have the candidates go beyond brief answers.”
Dozier said a recent poll conducted for the Citizens group by the Republican research firm Target Point Consulting found that 80 percent of likely GOP primary voters believe that energy and environmental policy should be a high priority. The poll found that 59 percent believe that “more emphasis” should be placed on diversifying energy sources, while 27 percent said the emphasis should be “about the same” and 16 percent said there should be less emphasis.
“The voters are ready for leadership, and they are tired of this perception that only liberals care about clean air and clean water, “Dozier said. “They feel that we should not be ceding this issue to the other party. It’s an issue we can lead on.”
Former congressional candidate and state Sen. Gary Lambert is a strong supporter of the group.
“They are saying that Republican principles and the environment and conservation can go hand in hand,” Lambert said. “You can be a conservative and be concerned about the environment at the same time.”
New Hampshire Primary Source covers breaking and behind-the-scenes news and analysis on the New Hampshire presidential primary and all things political in the Granite State. John DiStaso is the most experienced political writer in New Hampshire and has been writing a weekly column since 1982. Read the full N.H. Primary Source article here.