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Congressman Doug Lamborn Champions Common Sense Conservation

From wildfires this past summer to hurricanes this fall, Americans across the country are dealing with extreme weather events. To address the challenges brought on by extreme weather and climate change, policymakers across the aisle have proposed pragmatic approaches that could lower emissions, bolster conservation, and accelerate innovation. One member who has led on these issues in particular is Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO), who recently joined John Hart on Right Voices. 

Representing a district that is rich in nature and biodiversity, Lamborn has always advocated for conserving our natural environment. This led him to be a founding member of the Conservative Climate Caucus, which has quickly grown to be one of the largest caucuses in Congress. Rep. Lamborn says he joined because: 

“I [didn’t] want [progressive] people out there in society thinking that they’re the only ones who care about the outdoors, about the environment, or about the world that we live in. Now our solutions and proposals may differ, and we should have that discussion…but we want to make sure that the voices of those who are conservative, Republican, and on the right are being heard as well.” 

In terms of policy, Rep. Lamborn is a staunch advocate for lowering barriers to conservation.This summer, the Congressman introduced the Locally Led Restoration Act of 2023. This bill would allow the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to sign agreements with private entities to complete stewardship contracts. The activities under these contracts would include actions to reduce dead organic matter and fuel load on federal lands, which would in turn reduce the risk of wildfires. The legislation would also raise the cap required for the advertisement of timber sales to keep pace with inflation.

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Hands-off forest management, which has been championed by some environmental groups, increases wildfire damage by increasing and accelerating the fuel available to fires. As Rep. Lamborn said in the interview, a more active management policy is needed to protect communities and the environment. 

“Those of us who love our lands and our resources, we want to keep them for the future. We want them to have the maximum benefit to everyone who uses them or enjoys them or even just sees them out of their car as they drive by. So that requires wise management, not just letting [forests] go and forgetting about them and hoping for the best. That’s not really a good policy at all.” 

Congressman Lamborn also offered advice to lawmakers and presidential candidates who are looking to communicate free-market policies to the American people. 

“I would say that choice and incentives are better than mandates and forcing decisions that restrict our freedoms. That’s always the better approach, number one. Number two, prosperity is vital. A country that has more economic freedom and more choices is more prosperous. And if you have more prosperity, you have more money to deal with problems.” 

Indeed, as our Free Economies are Clean Economies report shows, economically free countries are nearly twice as clean as economically unfree ones. As countries climb the economic ladder they are able to better address climate and environmental issues, because the basic needs of citizens are met. As Rep. Lamborn stressed, making meaningful climate progress worldwide will require unleashing economic freedom

>>>READ: Rep. Blake Moore Offers His Thoughts on Climate Solutions, Energy Abundance

As the country looks to reduce climate risk and the size of the federal debt, the U.S. will need principled lawmakers like Congressman Lamborn to offer solutions that reduce risk in an economically viable and sustainable way. 

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

Copyright © 2020 Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions

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