CFACT’s student leaders were out in force for CPAC 2019, the largest gathering of young conservatives of the year near Washington D.C. CFACT brought its message of free market, all-of-the-above energy development by inviting students to answer the question of “What does American Energy Dominance mean to you?” on a giant banner in the exhibit hall.
“The banner question helped us engage students on why free market energy development is so important,” said Daniel Jackson, a student at Becker College in Massachusetts and a CFACT Driessen Fellow. “It was different for everyone. Some wrote about jobs and opportunity, but others wrote about how energy funds conservation and contributes to national security.”
CFACT’s volunteers also handed out anti-Green New Deal buttons with an emoji saying “no way” to the eco-Socialist pipe dream. “The buttons were a hit because everyone realizes how unrealistic the Green New Deal is here,” said Aubrey Kenderdine, a recent graduate of Northeastern University who is attending Liberty University for graduate school in the fall. “It’s important to be here because it shows students that there are organizations and people out there who agree that socialist policies are only going to make our environment less clean.”
In addition to interacting with hundreds of college students, CFACT was quoted by NBC news in their article on CPAC. Here’s the excerpt that includes my comments on the subject: “Others offered disagreement mixed with grudging respect. The Green New Deal has become ‘a bit of a punching bag because it is so, I’d say, out there,’ said Adam Houser, national collegians director for Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which promotes conservative environmental policies. ‘I’ll give AOC this, in that it’s bold. I disagree with it, a lot, but it’s bold, so I think it becomes a lightning rod.’”
Even President Trump addressed energy in his keynote address, sarcastically discussing the energy sources put forward by the Green New Deal: “When the wind stops blowing, that’s the end of your electric. Is the wind blowing today? I’d like to watch television!”
Gabriella Hoffman, hunting and angling advocate, media expert, and CFACT partner, participated in outreach with CFACT at the conference to explain to students and stakeholders how conservation is made possible by hunting and fishing. “I enjoyed spending time at the CFACT booth educating our fellow conservatives about how hunters and anglers pump more than 60% of conservation funding through excise taxes,” Hoffman said. “They are the true conservationists who don’t get their due. Radical environmentalists talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.”
“According to a September 2012 National Wildlife Federation National Survey of Hunters and Anglers…50% of them consider themselves conservative and 22% call themselves very conservative,” Hoffman continued. “It’s important to reinforce this fact so we don’t fall behind or see conservation efforts hijacked. Our side has as much to say on conservation matters as others.”
Finally, CFACT was also interviewed by Conservative.mk, a Macedonian organization that is spreading the message of free market environmentalism across Europe. They interviewed me about how conservatives within and outside of the European Union can grow their movement and resist the tide of bigger government.
Hundreds of students came away from CPAC having been exposed to CFACT’s pro-liberty, pro-nature message, and were excited to invite expert speakers to their campuses and fight back against the leftist narratives in their classrooms.