Energy

This Eco-Conscious GOP Donor Came Out Against A Carbon Tax

Mike Bastasch/TheDCNF

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

North Carolina philanthropist Jay Faison has come out against taxing carbon dioxide emissions as a conservative solution to both fighting global warming and promoting cleaner sources of energy.

“We don’t need more subsidies and top-down regulation,” Faison told reporters Tuesday at the National Press Club in a speech laying out how he believes conservatives should talk about “clean” energy policy.

Faison argued making traditional energy sources, like coal and natural gas, more expensive is not the way to power innovation in green energy. The conservative philanthropist also said more needs to be done to get rid of burdensome regulations on hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants.

Faison came onto the political scene last year when he pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars in the 2016 election cycle to get candidates to be “part of the solution” to fighting global warming based on ideas pushed by his non-profit ClearPath.

The North Carolina businessman sold his business SnapAV in 2013 and has since put that money into ClearPath. He came to Washington, D.C., Tuesday to announce ClearPath was opening an office in the nation’s capital. and that he’s creating a super PAC, ClearPath Action, which aims to raise $5 million.

Faison also came out against the Environmental Protection Agency’s so-called Clean Power Plan — a scheme to cut CO2 emissions from power plants 32 percent by 2030. The CPP is expected to double the number of coal-fired power plant closures projected to occur in the coming years.

“We don’t think… the Clean Power Plan is ideal,” Faison said, adding his goal was to reduce energy regulations, not create more.

Other groups have popped up over the years, claiming to have the conservative answer to global warming. Groups like the R Street Institute and the Niskanen Center support a carbon tax to fight global warming.

But calls for a carbon tax on the right have largely gone ignored. The Republican National Committee has come out against a carbon tax, and a large coalition of prominent conservative organizations have expressed their opposition to taxing CO2 as well.

Faison, however, doesn’t agree, and wants to distinguish himself from groups pushing for a carbon tax. Instead, his group is focused on promoting nuclear energy, hydroelectric power, clean coal and what he calls “innovation.”

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