As the cost of renewable energy technologies drops, there’s a new push to change how conservatives approach those options.
Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum executive director Scott Coenen says there needs to be a recognition that renewables are getting close to competing with fossil fuels, and the state should be moving to take advantage of their potential for development here. “We need to start to form a conservative policy and start to have a discussion about some of these things, to see who we best can introduce these technologies, leverage these technologies, and take advantage of them in Wisconsin,” he says.
Many Republicans have pushed back against renewable energy with policies that have limited its growth, such as changes in siting rules for wind farms.
Coenen says that narrative needs to change. “I think it’s about advancing a different message and shifting the mindset a little bit,” he argues. “We need to start seeing some cheer leading for this. We need to start seeing some leaders on this as well.”
The coalition has support from several conservative leaders, including former Governor Tommy Thompson.