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Opinion: Chad Mayes did the right thing on climate change, and Republicans are trying to punish him. Why?

Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes discusses the cap-and-trade bill in Sacramento on July 17.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: I was dismayed to read about the blowback that Chad Mayes, the Republican leader in the California Assembly, had to endure simply for supporting clean energy, which is not a controversial issue. (“Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes is still in charge after caucus meeting — but another vote is on the way,” Aug. 21)

His position aligns with the views of Republican voters nationwide, especially among GOP millennials — the future of the party. According to a recent poll conducted by my organization, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum, nearly two-thirds of younger Republican voters favor the federal government taking steps to reduce emissions of gases like carbon dioxide that cause climate change.

Clean energy has now reached high levels of support in my party, backed by a majority of all Republicans, including supporters of President Trump.

Principled public servants who are both free-market conservatives and advocates for clean energy should be commended. I agree with the business leaders cited in the article: Mayes’ stance was courageous.

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Charles Hernick, Washington

The writer is director of policy and advocacy for Citizens for Responsible Energy Solution Forum.

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To the editor: As a lifelong Republican, I have had it up to here with my party’s march to the 19th century. If the other party offered much of a viable alternative, I’d be there.

Thank goodness for people like Assemblyman Mayes of Yucca Valley. I have gladly voted for him and will continue to do so because I’m confident he’s one of those strange politicians who believes in doing the right thing, even if it means bucking his party and risking damage to his own political future.

Yes, the GOP can take his leadership position, but I will keep on supporting someone who’s not afraid to vote his own heart and mind.

Janet K. Schwartzkopf, Palm Springs

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