Ayotte, who faces a tough reelection bid in a state that voted for President Obama in the last two presidential cycles, is the first congressional Republican to openly endorse the rule, dubbed the Clean Power Plan.
“After carefully reviewing this plan and talking with members of our business community, environmental groups, and other stakeholders, I have decided to support the Clean Power Plan to address climate change through clean energy solutions that will protect our environment,” Ayotte said in a statement.
“New Hampshire is already well on its way to meet the goals of the Clean Power Plan through positive steps it has already taken,” she continued, saying she would closely monitor the regulation’s implementation to ensure that the state has sufficient flexibility in complying.
A conservative billionaire encouraged her support for the plan:
In July, Ayotte was the first recipient of a donation from Jay Faison, a Republican who has pledged to donate money in the 2016 election to encourage the GOP to recognize climate change and endorse conservative solutions to it.
Faison donated $500,000 to a super-PAC benefitting Ayotte.
Obviously there’s lots of political calculations involved here. But I can imagine that Ayotte is relieved that the pressures she faces allow her to break with the GOP’s insane stance on whether we should safeguard our one planet’s climate.