Republicans embrace global warming at fundraiser

07/16/07 Arielle Stevenson
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Friday night in downtown Tampa, Gov. Charlie Crist and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger along with 800 other Republicans gathered for the 2007 Republican Party of Florida’s Victory dinner.

After the two-day climate change summit in Miami, the Florida and California governors attended the Republican Party of Florida’s Victory dinner at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Tampa. Crist spoke about how much carbon has been emitted and what needs to be done to bring about changes in carbon levels.

Crist also spoke about alternative energies, including nuclear energy.

The chairman of Florida’s Republican party, Jim Greer, says more than 800 Republicans attended the dinner, which broke its fundraising goals.

Sen. Mel Martinez, who is also chairman of the Republican National Committee, spoke at the dinner about the damaging effects of the Democratic agenda.

However it is unclear whether Martinez will join Crist in his fight against global warming. Just this summer the senator voted against a renewable energy and energy tax package that would have been attached to the Senate energy bill.

Earlier this summer, Martinez also voted for an amendment giving major subsidies to liquid coal production, a fuel source the Environmental Protection Agency says would double the global warming pollution of a car running on gasoline.

In contrast, the evening’s special guest, California Gov. Schwarzenegger, spoke about the gold rush of environmentally focused jobs or “green jobs,” that will not only help solve global warming but help the economy.

Green initiatives put forth by Crist and Schwarzenegger have received mixed feelings from their conservative counterparts. However, Crist’s high approval ratings are forcing many Republicans to grit their teeth as Crist remodels the traditional image of the Republican Party by embracing fiscal discipline as well as environmental initiatives.

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