Featured republicEn: Elizabeth Amato

over 3 years ago

Elizabeth Amato, a field director for Turning Point USA, an organization dedicated to identifying, educating, training and organizing students to promote issues of fiscal responsibility, free markets and limited government. Given our shared love for all things free market related, we are thrilled to have her as an enthusiastic member of the RepublicEn community. Elizabeth hails from Florida, a state on the front lines of climate change impacts, and recently she had a conversation with ClimateEye editor Chelsea Henderson to discuss what motivates and inspires young conservatives to embrace free enterprise solutions to climate change.

How did you first get interested in climate/clean energy? I'm very engaged with young Republicans locally. It's been frustrating to hear liberals claim they are the only ones who care about climate change and clean energy when it is clearly a bipartisan issue. Until I met other members of the RepublicEN community, I knew clean energy and climate change were important, issues but I didn't know how to make a difference as a conservative.

How does living in Florida, a state that will likely suffer severe impacts from
climate change, impact your position?

Living in Florida, I have always been aware of my environment. For example, there is an ongoing issue with solar power in the Sunshine State. I have always paid attention to these issues. Only when RepublicEN came along did I feel like I had a community of like-minded people.

What inspires your involvement in RepublicEN?

In October, I attended the Conservative Clean Energy Summit hosted by Young Conservatives for Energy Reform. It was nice to see so many conservative lawmakers present who either support climate action or development of clean energy in the U.S. These lawmakers are well informed. They know something needs to be done and are willing to exert the leadership to do it. It was nice to see conservatives embracing climate and clean energy solutions.

Do you have recommendations for how we can inspire more young
conservatives to join our rally cry?

It's important for people to recognize that young conservatives do care about the environment. We just approach the solutions differently. Get more young people involved in a fun and active way that provides an alternative to just arguing science and solutions. And remember, you can't disregard the role capitalism has to play in climate solutions. Free enterprise can make a difference. Also, a factor I've seen in my own job is that education is critical. You can't achieve anything without educating people, young and old. One-on-one conversations can help. You also need to get the message out on college campuses; explain the alternatives to young people. Don't be afraid to ask to talk and spark a conversation. You never know when you are going to find a new ally!

In a nutshell…?

The bottom line is that we need to work together and be more educated. Personal conversations have the potential to change everything. After all, you made a change in me. If you change one person, you have done your job.

We want to thank Elizabeth for sharing his time with us and supporting our continued efforts to create a community of individuals interested in free market action on climate change. Interested in being one of our featured republicEns? Have an interesting story to tell? Email rebecca@republicen.org.