Just when you think you’ve gotten cynical enough, the GOP goes and tries to rebrand its energy policy as economic populism:

In a strategy memo obtained by POLITICO, Republican staffers for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works say Republicans should argue that Democrats are embracing “Wall Street traders,” “polluters” and “others in corporate America” who are “guilty of manipulating national climate policy to increase profits on the backs of consumers.

Your Republican Party, forever vigilant against upward redistribution of wealth!

Dan Weiss gets off a good line:

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“Joe Barton’s alternative energy bill is full of more handouts to big oil companies that made $650 billion in profits over the past eight years,” said Daniel J. Weiss, a climate director at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Weiss said that the GOP effort to cast itself as “the party of consumers is as laughable as Bristol Palin advocating teenage abstinence.”

Republicans are no longer “pro-business,” they’re pro some businesses, specifically old-line energy companies and utilities. They’re anti-GE, anti-Vestas and eSolar, anti-Dupont, PG&E, Nike, and Google. Just as their electoral success depends on proportionally declining demographics (rural white men, holla!), their muscle in energy politics is bound up in declining industries and perspectives. More and more American businesses are chomping at the bit to innovate in markets from which they’re currently excluded by an unpriced externality.

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