OP-ED (TeenVogue): Young Conservatives Are Defending the Environment, Too

“Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it’s common sense.”

President Ronald Reagan’s words echo true today for a generation that consistently ranks environmental issues near or at the top of their priorities, and Earth Day is the perfect opportunity for all sides to have a conversation about the best ways to protect our planet moving forward.

I run communications for a new group called the American Conservation Coalition, which is made up of millennials from across the country. Our mission is to promote a dialogue about how best to address environmental concerns, and ensure that our natural resources are preserved for generations to come. In order to do this, we’re using a time-tested approach that has been missing from the conversation for far too long: free-markets.

We think American consumers should have more decision-making power in regard to where their electricity comes from, and more say when it comes to local conservation efforts. Rather than relying on more government regulation or using bailouts to save failing industries and companies, free markets empower people to make decisions. And conservation should be a priority for everyone, from the individual consumer to the largest corporations. This belief already transcends political party lines, and should not require mandates forcing businesses into certain policies. In today’s world, companies are increasingly moving toward more sustainable and environmentally-friendly policies — and they’re doing so voluntarily.

Bethany Bowra