Renewable energy as a conservative issue?

The environment: It’s not just a liberal issue.

That’s the takeaway from this morning’s interview on Midwest Energy News with Debbie Dooley of Georgia, one of the founders of the tea party movement.

She’s the featured speaker next week at a meeting of the Wisconsin Solar Energy Industries Association.

It’s not the sort of thing generally attributed to a conservative, and she points out that Tea Party Patriots is not taking a position on solar. But she makes clear that the monopoly of utility companies is a free-market issue, putting the renewable energy issue in a conservative’s wheelhouse.

“Solar is a way to give monopolies very much needed competition. It also provides consumer choice,” she said.

And she said Republican obstinance on climate change isn’t helping.

I don’t believe in excessive regulation, like all these regulations we’ve seen with EPA the past few years. I would prefer to allow energy to compete in the free market on a level playing field and let the consumer decide what is best.

I fully believe energies that hurt the environment should be taxed. I don’t believe in a carbon tax, I believe in a cleanup fund like with the BP spill in Gulf.

I’ve advocated from the beginning to cut out massive subsidies that all energy forms have received. Some of the same conservatives that point a finger at Solyndra, they failed to point out the massive subsidies coal and nuclear have been receiving since the 1930s. That smacks of hypocrisy. If you’re going to complain about subsidies for wind or solar, why are we still subsidizing nuclear and coal? Subsidies are government’s way of picking winners and losers.

Interview here.

Related: Earth’s ozone layer is recovering (Washington Post).