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PRESS RELEASE: A Bad Midterm Election for Republicans in the Climate Solutions Caucus

November 7, 2018

Billionare-funded ballot initiatives to impose taxes on productivity advance the climate alarmist agenda also go down in flames

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (November 7, 2018) — The idea that humans are the main driver of climate change – and that public policy must urgently move toward drastic economy-killing action to thwart supposed environmental disaster – took a huge hit in the midterm elections.

The Republican members of the Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives were the hardest hit. Ballot initiatives across America that would have thwarted the exploration and use of affordable fossil fuels also had a terrible night.

Of the 45 Republican members of the Climate Solutions Caucus, 11 members lost their seats, five retiring GOP members saw their seats filled by Democrats, and seven eked out re-election in races many would have won more easily. [NOTE: Four California House races in the caucus following this trend were too close to call at the time of this release. Full list of losers below.]

“The Republicans who joined the Climate Solutions Caucus made a huge mistake,” said Heartland Institute President Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D., who served in Congress from 2011 to 2017 and helped grow the Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives. “We began the night with 45 Republican members of the Climate Solutions Caucus, and we will begin the next Congress with less than half that many. So much for trying to attract so-called ‘moderate’ voters by embracing the climate alarmist agenda.

“It’s telling that Carlos Cubelo, the Republican Co-chairman of the Climate Solutions Caucus, lost his election – as well as many incumbents who had otherwise stellar conservative credentials in favor of free markets,” Huelskamp said. “Embracing climate alarmism is anti-science and favors government direction over energy policy over the market.

“Republican voters know that joining a caucus with members of the radical environmental left means embracing unscientific dogma that would thwart President Trump’s agenda to make America the world’s leading energy producer,” Huelskamp said. “And the voters in their districts punished them accordingly.”

Meanwhile, ballot initiatives that were generously funded by environment activists – especially by billionaire Tom Steyer – did poorly on Election Day. Colorado voters rejected an attempt to ban almost all fracking for oil and natural gas. Washington state rejected a “carbon tax” (a tax on emissions of carbon dioxide). Voters in Arizona crushed a mandate to increase energy production from solar fields.

“Ballot issue after ballot issue to increase energy costs and make it harder to make America more energy independent failed,” said Huelskamp. “The global warmists will continue to fund these efforts because their coffers seem bottomless, but the voters know it’s a scam.”

Republican Members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus who lost:

 Mike Coffman

Colorado 6th

 Barbara Comstock

Virginia 10th

 Carlos Curbelo (co-chair)

Florida 26th

 Dan Donovan

New York 11th

 John Faso

New York 19th

 Randy Hultgren

Illinois 14th

 Leonard Lance

New Jersey 7th

 Erik Paulsen

Minnesota 3rd

 Peter Roskam

Illinois 6th

 Scott Taylor

Virginia 2nd

 Kevin Yoder

Kansas 3rd


Republican Members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus who struggled to win or might lose:

 Don Bacon (always close)

Nebraska 2nd

 Chris Collins (+3,096, 99%)

New York 27th

 Rodney Davis (+3,750; 60% 2012)

Illinois 13th

 Peter T. King (+15,107; 100%)

New York 2nd

 Mia Love (-4,714; 68%)

Utah 4th

 Tom MacArthur (+2,315; 99%)

New Jersey 3rd

 Claudia Tenney (-1,422, 100%)

New York 22nd


Republican Members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus who retired and had Democrats take their seat:

 Ryan Costello

Pennsylvania 6th

 Dave Reichert

Washington 8th

 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Florida 27th

 Mark Sanford

South Carolina 1st

 Dave Trott

Michigan 11th

Author
Tim Huelskamp is the president and CEO of The Heartland Institute.
thuelskamp@heartland.org @CongHuelskamp

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