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Sen. Lugar’s GOP foe slams energy group affiliations

The Alliance to Save Energy, which advocates for energy efficiency, backed legislation the House approved in 2009 that included a cap-and-trade system and several green energy and efficiency provisions. The group also supported Senate efforts to pass climate legislation that collapsed in 2010.

But climate policy is just one of many policies that the Alliance works on. Lugar is among the bipartisan group of House and Senate members who are “honorary vice chairs” of the Alliance.

Others include Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenators press administration on mental health parity Overnight Energy: Watchdogs unveil findings on EPA, Interior controversies | GAO says EPA violated law with soundproof booth | IG says Zinke could have avoided charter flight | GOP chair probes Pruitt's four email addresses GOP fractures over push to protect Russia probe MORE (R-Alaska), who are the top members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, as well as Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Energy: Trump NASA pick advances after drama | White House office to investigate Pruitt's soundproof booth | 170 lawmakers call for Pruitt to resign Trump's NASA nominee advances after floor drama Family, friends mourn death of Barbara Bush MORE (R-Maine), Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Democratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups MORE (D-Colo.), Rep. Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessMaternal deaths keep rising in US, raising scrutiny House passes 'right to try' drug bill Overnight Health Care: What to expect in omnibus | HIV expert to head CDC | Sessions issues memo on death penalty for drug cases MORE (R-Texas) and others.

The head of Brookings’ energy security team has called for action on climate legislation and its experts have written papers on how to design cap-and-trade systems.

However, a Brookings spokeswoman said that neither the think tank nor its energy initiative take specific policy positions.

“Our scholars, including those working on energy issues, come from a wide range of backgrounds and hold a variety of opinions on policies related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said spokeswoman Melissa Skolfield.

Lugar is listed as a member of the advisory group of the Brookings energy initiative. Others include prominent energy consultant and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin.

Lugar’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The six-term incumbent, who is the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, has supported action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Lugar was among the minority of Republicans that voted for failed cap-and-trade proposals in 2003 and 2005 sponsored by Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainHeitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State Senate committee sets Monday vote even as Pompeo appears to lack support Trump checkmates Democrats in sending Pompeo to North Korea MORE (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

But in 2008 he voted against cap-and-trade legislation sponsored by Lieberman and then-senator John Warner (R-Va.), and in 2010 floated a broad energy security bill that did not include an emissions cap, although he touted other provisions that would help curb emissions.

The overwhelming majority of scientists say the planet is warming and that human activities — including the burning of fossil fuels — are a major cause.

A small minority of scientists argue that data on warming trends and the human contribution are inaccurate or inconclusive.

Skolfield said that Brookings values Lugar’s work with the organization.

“We’re pleased to have Senator Lugar, Daniel Yergin and others advise our Energy Security Initiative,” she said. “Energy security is one of the most important strategic challenges facing the United States. Energy security cuts across many sectors—economic, environmental and national security. Achieving a more secure future requires the development and discussion of high-quality energy research.”

This post was updated on Friday, April 6 at 1:09 p.m.