While the long-term financial and environmental benefits of energy efficiency have been widely reported, the issue remains a hotly debated and partisan topic in Washington D.C. Proponents and opponents typically fall on the left and right sides of the aisle, respectively, with Republicans arguing that climate change measures represent government intervention into the free market. The Tea Party, a far-right movement that came into prominence during 2010, adheres to this position as well. However, a group of Tea Party activists have announced a new partnership with environmentalists to promote an energy efficiency initiative in Georgia.
Green news outlet Earth Techling reports that the alliance, known as the Green Tea Coalition, placed "grassroots pressure" onto Georgia's state utility company in a bid to persuade it to include 525 megawatts of solar power by 2016. Although the Tea Party typically opposes renewable energy investments, advocates argued that the strategy here will offer more power options for consumers as well as help break up the monopoly that utilities can hold over state energy production, like in Georgia, which supports the party's free market values.
"The success of the Green Tea Coalition proves that despite a partisan divide in the halls of Congress, activists working on-the-ground can see past party labels and work together in the service of ratepayer interests, community health and a safe environment," said co-founder Debbie Dooley in an official statement. "Embracing renewables is smart energy policy that transcends political party lines."
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