New Energy Future

By DAVID JENKINS, REP’s government affairs director

AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: Dave delivered this statement at the University of the District of Columbia, on October 26, 2006.


Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP) is pleased to be part of the coalition supporting the New Energy Future Campaign.

Like the other groups up here today, we are very concerned about the nation’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels and the threat it poses to our future.

There was a time when we did not have good alternatives, but that time has long since passed. Not only do we now have the capability to conserve more and rely on cleaner sources of energy, we have an obligation to do so.

While securing our energy future and safeguarding our environment is, as Richard Nixon once said, “a cause beyond party and beyond factions,” I particularly want to challenge conservatives to embrace this campaign. REP believes that the policy goals of the New Energy Future Campaign are prudent, conservative, and essential to the long term health and security of our nation.

Edmund Burke, regarded as the founder of modern conservatism, pointed out that society is “a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.”

Despite the reckless rhetoric that spews from the mouths of some self-proclaimed conservatives, waste and greed are not conservative values. True conservatism holds that present generations have a moral obligation to restrain their physical appetites, treat the world with reverence, and protect the inheritance of future generations.

If we fail to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and reduce the threat of climate change, we will have failed in our stewardship responsibility, and future generations will pay a heavy price.

It is time for true conservatives to rise above politics and narrow, short-term interests, meet our current energy challenges head on, and embrace energy policies based on the traditional conservative values of conservation, stewardship, and prudence.