Ex-GOP lawmaker says conservatives must end ‘denial’ on climate

Former South Carolina GOP Rep. Bob Inglis, who was vanquished by a Tea Party insurgent in 2010, is urging conservatives to stop denying that humans are contributing to global warming. 

Inglis, who will lead a new initiative at George Mason University to promote “conservative solutions to America’s energy and climate challenges," says conservatives should instead promote solutions to the problem on their own terms.  

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Inglis on Tuesday announced a new “Energy and Enterprise Initiative” that he hopes will voice the case for conservative leadership on energy and climate. 

“Conservatives have the answer to our energy and climate challenge,” he said in a statement. “It’s about correcting market distortions and setting the economics right. We need to stop retreating in denial and start stepping forward in the competition of ideas.”

Inglis lost his 2010 primary to Trey Gowdy, who went on to win the general election to represent South Carolina’s 4th district, which is in the northern part of the state.

Inglis said in 2010 that his belief in global warming was an important factor in his primary loss to Gowdy. 

The announcement of the new project at GMU, which is in Fairfax, Va., highlighted Inglis’s conservative credentials, noting that while in Congress he won an “A” from the National Rifle Association, 100 percent from the Christian Coalition and a 93 from the American Conservative Union.

The new initiative will be “guided by conservative principles of free enterprise and economic growth, limited government, liberty, accountability and reasonable risk avoidance,” according to Tuesday’s announcement.

The former congressman will lead a national “public engagement campaign.” Here’s more from the announcement:

E&EI will sponsor policy papers from conservative scholars, students and activists. It will partner with conservative thought leaders, businesses, and other organizations to host panels, conduct outreach, and voice the case for conservative leadership on energy and climate. E&EI will convene forums around the country that bring together economists, national security experts, climate scientists and interested citizens to explore the power of free enterprise to solve the nation’s energy and climate challenges.

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