Executive Director, Alliance for Market Solutions
Key previous position: Senate staff director
Education: George Washington; MIT
Notable fact: Led bipartisan energy reform
Longtime Republican lobbyist and Capitol Hill staffer Alex Flint wants lawmakers to know that conservative values demand action on climate change.
Flint is urging Republicans to embrace a carbon tax to kill two birds with one stone: averting the catastrophic climate conditions predicted by scientists, while staving off a top-down regulatory regime that mandates drastic emissions reductions.
“There are a lot of voices on climate policy. We are unique because we are Republicans who respect climate science,” Flint said over a soul-food lunch in downtown Washington. “For the party to be successful in the future, it has to get right on climate change.”
Flint’s group, the Alliance for Market Solutions, is part of a growing cohort of conservative organizations and leaders—among them George Shultz, Hank Paulson, and Trent Lott— prioritizing climate policy.
For his part, Flint says he first recognized the significance of climate change as a Senate Appropriations Committee clerk in the mid-1990s, when he was tasked with a portfolio that included the Energy Department National Laboratories.
“I hold scientists in high regard. I respect that the scientific process does not entail unanimity. Instead, it entails rigorous debate but eventual consensus building,” he said. “Policymakers need to respect that scientific consensus.”
On top of laying out policy solutions for Republicans such as a carbon tax, the Alliance helps lawmakers message the issue in line with constituent interests and concerns. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit conducts focus groups and other public outreach. Flint says his firm is a key asset for Republicans as the party and country grapple with climate policy.
“Unlike many other environmental organizations, we’re not supporting their opponents in upcoming elections. We want Republicans to be successful,” he said. “We’re a catalyst between the reality of the science and the growing political imperative to act, and the need for there to be a conservative solution set to the science and the politics.”