Environmentalists and Tea Partiers are frequently at odds with each other, but in Georgia, they sometimes dance to the same tune.
Environmentalists and Tea Partiers are frequently at odds with each other, but in Georgia, they sometimes dance to the same tune. For example, the Sierra Club and the Atlanta Tea Party recently joined forces to fight for the right of homeowners with rooftop solar to sell their homegrown electricity to the Georgia Power Company. The Sierra Club supports solar energy because it’s good for the environment. For Debbie Dooley, co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party, it’s about the free market and consumer choice.
DOOLEY: “Decentralized energy empowers the people. So we began to work together.”
The two groups partnered again when the utility proposed charging people with solar panels more to access the electrical grid. And, by working together, they won again.
DOOLEY: “We’ve had a great working relationship…it forces people to actually stop and think…if these groups from opposite ends of the spectrum believe the same way, then we believe it has some merit.”
It takes two to tango. In Georgia, the Sierra Club and the Tea Party worked together to empower individual Georgia consumers and advance the clean energy economy. Their partnership was so successful that they’ve since formed “The Green Tea Coalition.” I’m Anthony Leiserowitz.
Climate Connections is produced by the Yale Center for Environmental Communication. Learn more at www.YaleClimateConnections.org.
Reporting credits: Bud Ward and ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Debbie Dooley
Green Tea Coalition
Tea Party, Sierra Club Unite to Support Solar Energy in Georgia, November 2013.