Standing Firm In Troubled Times

Standing Firm In Troubled Times

By Grant Couch, CCL National Conservative Caucus

I joined CCL in 2013 because I believe Carbon Fee and Dividend (CF&D) is a necessary, meaningful and politically sustainable step in solving the existential risk of climate change. Over the years I have participated in over 70 lobby meetings in Washington, D.C., and in Colorado district offices. My lobbying experiences have confirmed the profound wisdom of CCL’s approach of being respectfully non-partisan — while insisting on a bipartisan solution. Our Core Values are an inspiring North Star for any organization. Equally important is the simple statement on the homepage of our website: “Together we’re building support for a national bipartisan solution to climate change.”

During the last seven years, our country's politics have become more polarized. I have experienced this first-hand, both as an engaged citizen as well as a CCL member presenting to many diverse audiences. I am now convinced that a bipartisan requirement is more important than the actual solution. Ultimately, a solution will come, and Congress will have to act. However, even if the solution addresses the climate challenge in a meaningful way, it will not be sustainable unless there is bipartisan support because resistance within the minority party will be intense and perpetual. America’s political divide is an existential threat to our democracy, and CCL’s bipartisan focus is helping bridge that divide. I am profoundly proud of CCL’s efforts in that regard, and that pride and goal have given me extra energy and determination in advancing our work.

We should all be proud of the unique lane that CCL occupies in the climate movement as a bipartisan grassroots organization. I recognize the strain that many of us experience when trying to continue our advocacy in a politically polarized time while maintaining our bipartisan credentials and reputation. The effort that CCL members have put into creating a space for climate action that bridges the partisan divide is precious.

Now more than ever we must stand firm on our core values. Given the reality of political perceptions, if CCL were to tilt to one side or the other, the results would not easily be rectified. We may not be able to simply move back, and this will leave the climate movement more off balance and much weaker. We need the discipline to stay in our bipartisan lane and adhere to our core values.

The country and the world need us to stay strong and create the political will for a livable world. CCL members are uniquely prepared for this task, so don't retreat, politely engage with respect, and trust in the power of bipartisanship.