Debates between policymakers and experts about better approaches to environmental protection and bio-diversity preservation highlighted the EU’s Green Week. New Europe’s Violetta Rusheva talked to Debbie Dooley, one of the co-founders of the Tea Party – a splinter group of American conservatism that broke with mainstream Republican politics in 2009 by after their platform of far-right populism, libertarianism, nationalism, constitutional activism, and American exceptionalism. The movement first emerged out of anger over Washington’s bail-outs of failing banks, insurers, and auto companies, which quickly put the Tea Party at odds with the US’ traditional centrist political factions.
Dooley sat down to discuss her views on the state’s role in the protection of the environment and as well as the power of the free market and competition.
NE: There are many ongoing debates within the EU on how to find an efficient and economically reasonable approach to the environment’s protection. Do you believe in a balance between state and private interests?
Dooley: Firstly, I am a strong supporter of free-market competition, individual choice, and innovation. I do not think that the government’s interference can play a positive role as extensive regulation provokes only chaos and additional bureaucracy. The government’s role should be to foster an environment of innovation, competition, and individual choice.
NE: But within society, there is a certain widely-held belief that big companies and corporations are mainly concerned about the efficiency of their investments rather than the public’s well -being.
Dooley: At present, not everyone can use clean energy whether biofuels, solar panels, or wind power because these solutions can be expensive in comparison with the traditional resources as oil and gas. However, we need to wait until technology advances and innovation draws prices down and this is the solution to protecting our environment. Only private business can create and develop technologies that will be capable to save our environment. When the price of a solar battery will be equal or cheaper than the standard solutions, an individual will likely choose to contribute to keeping our planet clean and safe.
NE: Do you think that it can also affect the national security? With the advancement of modern technology, a mutual interdependence looks unavoidable.
Dooley: I do think that when an individual relies on himself in terms of energy supply, those who want to harm our country will have less chance to cause substantial damage. In the US, for instance, there are 54,000 transformers or substations that provide power from coast to coast. A recent report published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that those who want to electricity black-out need to take down only nine of them. It looks pretty scary, doesn’t it?
NE: How do you see the role of the conservatives in the environment’s protection movement?
Dooley: Conservatives have to lead and we have to rely on individuals to solve our energy needs. We can’t just give orders like the governments in Germany and other European countries who have started to ban products and solutions, which, according to their opinion, are damaging the environment. I have confidence in the American and European people that they will solve our energy problem and provide clean energy and renewable energy sources.