A former Republican congressman from South Carolina is calling on conservatives to take measures to combat climate change instead of "retreating in denial."


George Mason University announced on Tuesday that former Rep. Bob Inglis would be leading a nationwide public engagement campaign on behalf of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative's (E&EI) effort to find conservative solutions to climate change.

"Conservatives have the answer to our energy and climate challenge," Inglis said in a statement. "It’s about correcting market distortions and setting the economics right. We need to stop retreating in denial and start stepping forward in the competition of ideas."

In a video posted to the E&EI website, Inglis and Art Laffer, President Ronald Reagan’s former economics adviser, explained why taxing carbon emissions was the right answer for curbing greenhouse gasses and improving the economy.

"Either way, whether you're an agnostic or you think climate change is for real, the solution may just be the same," Inglis said. "And that's changing what you tax."

"If you're going to handle global warming, you can do it in a way that actually does not hurt the economy," Laffer agreed. "I would bet that a carbon tax would really be less damaging dollar-for-dollar to the economy than the progressive income tax."

"You got to tax something to fund the government," Inglis pointed out. "Why not make it pollution rather than income?"

In a 2010 landslide, Inglis was ousted from Congress by tea party favorite Trey Gowdy, who completely denies that the Earth is warming.

"I don't believe in global warming or cap-and-trade," Gowdy told the Spartanburg Tea Party in 2010. "That's not me."

Watch this video from the Energy and Enterprise Initiative.

[vimeo_embed http://player.vimeo.com/video/44472885?byline=0&portrait=0 expand=1]

(h/t: The Hill)