National Journal published an article in their 18th May issue titled, “The GOP Energy Tent Is Slowly Getting Bigger.” Reporter Coral Davenport, who is a reliable promoter of environmentalist views, writes a puff piece on House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) efforts to add a green tinge to the House Republicans’ wardrobe.
In the last Congress, McCarthy, who is number three in the Republican leadership, started the House Energy Action Team (HEAT) in order to develop messaging points for the 2012 election. Now, he is trying to broaden HEAT’s messaging to include support for subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. That is no surprise: McCarthy is not a movement conservative, but he does have the country’s largest concentration of wind farms in his Bakersfield-area district. McCarthy has received many major campaign contributions from the wind industry.
Davenport’s story includes a long quote praising McCarthy’s green turn: “‘I think it’s smart,’ Republican strategist John Feehery said of McCarthy’s new tactics. Republicans’ aggressive campaigning against Obama’s clean-energy agenda was ‘an overreaction,’ Feehery said. ‘It made us seem like enemies of the environment. The idea that government has absolutely no role, that the climate is absolutely not changing—it’s not smart,’ he said. ‘It’s also not smart if you’re talking about all the farmers in red states that make money off windmills. A lot of the base is there.’ Davenport does not mention that Feehery is a top lobbyist at Quinn Gillespie, who represents clients in the renewable energy industry and started a front group to lobby for the wind production tax credit and other subsidies called the Red State Renewables Alliance.