A former Republican congressman from South Carolina and a former Democratic congressman from Washington visited the Palouse this week to discuss ways the major political parties can work together to address global climate change.
(Former U.S. Reps. Brian Baird and Bob Inglis, speaking to a University of Idaho class on October 30, 2018)
Rep. Bob Inglis, a Republican, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1992, having never run for office before. He represented Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, from 1993-1998. In 2004, he was re-elected to Congress and served until losing re-election in the South Carolina Republican primary of 2010. Inglis describes himself as an “energy optimist and climate realist.” In 2012, he launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative on climate solutions.
Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat, served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Washington State’s 3rd Congressional District. He retired from Congress in 2011. Baird is co-chair of Washington Independents, founded in 2017 to support centrist candidates for public office.
In an interview with Idaho Public Radio, Inglis said we’re not having a conversation at all on climate and that needs to change:
Baird told us young people he had spoken to earlier in the day were disheartened by the lack of political will in the country:
Both men spoke at the University of Idaho on Tuesday in the GEOG 435: Climate Change Mitigation course, and then later in the day also presented a program at the Foley Institute at Washington State University.
In their conversation with us, both noted that positive things were happening and that bipartisan solutions on climate were possible.
“All these wonderful young people, whose future is at stake, have been told to surrender,” Baird said, but added, “There are some really good people, like Bob Inglis, working for real solutions that would solve this. We get one shot at this planet.”
“It’s going to take Republicans with Democrats doing that,” Inglis said. “If you look at the history of really important change in this country that’s durable, it’s always been bipartisan.”
Inglis believes that by 2022, there’ll be 25 House Republicans and 15 Senate Republicans ready to talk about a carbon dioxide tax that’s worldwide and economy-wide.
Posted October 31, 2018.