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Clean energy group backs Republican in Florida race

Clean energy group backs Republican in Florida race
© Greg Nash

A conservative clean energy group is giving a GOP House incumbent in Florida its first ever House election endorsement.

ClearPath Action Fund, headed by conservative entrepreneur Jay Faison, highlighted the leading role freshman Rep. Carlos Curbelo has played as a Republican who believes in man-made climate change and wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

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“Carlos Curbelo has quickly proven to be a leader among Republicans in protecting the environment and expanding the development of clean energy, lowering energy costs for families, creating jobs and protecting South Florida’s environment,” Faison said in a Tuesday statement.

“We’re excited to help ensure that he remains a central figure in Congress in promoting thoughtful and sensible solutions,” he said.

Along with the endorsement of Curbelo, ClearPath released a poll it commissioned that said that voters are more likely to support Curbelo over his Democratic opponent when they learn about his work on climate and clean energy.

Curbelo, who is seen as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the House, represents the southern tip of Florida and is running for reelection in a swing district that has become slightly Democratic with redistricting. His leading challenger is Democrat Joe GarciaJose (Joe) Antonio GarciaFormer Florida congressman fined 6K in campaign finance scheme Overnight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war Biden pays tribute to McCain at emotional memorial service MORE, who Curbelo unseated in the 2014 election.

The Cook Political Report rates his race as a toss-up. 

In addition to his climate activism, Curbelo has been a leading GOP voice against presidential hopeful Donald TrumpDonald TrumpRomney: 'Pretty sure' Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he ran for president Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Trump says 'no doubt' Tiger Woods will be back after accident MORE.

Curbelo is one of the main sponsors of a House resolution seeking Republican support for fighting climate change, with a handful of GOP cosponsors.

He also heads a bipartisan caucus he launched this year with a goal of finding common ground on climate change.

But he opposes President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and other Democratic climate policies that he sees as heavy-handed and interfering with markets.

Faison launched ClearPath last year to push clean energy and climate policies that he believes align with conservative principles. He unveiled the political arm of the group earlier this year.