Debbie Dooley’s conservative profile seems impeccable. The gun-owning daughter of a Baptist preacher, she was an early organizer for the Tea Party movement. She voted for President Donald Trump and still supports him.
But when it comes to energy, her independent streak sends her down a different path: She takes issue with some of Trump’s signature positions, goes up against some of the nation’s biggest utility companies and often crosses conventional partisan lines.
Dooley opposes the tariff the president imposed on solar-panel imports in January. As for coal, which Trump has championed, it will never “be the king it once was,” she said. She accepts that human activity is causing climate change — and worries that it will threaten the health of the next generation, including her 9-year-old grandson, who has asthma.
To her, those beliefs are consistent with the rest of her worldview. “We should be focusing on the technologies of the future, not the dinosaur technology of the past,” Dooley said. “Our energy grid is vulnerable to attack. Rooftop solar keeps us safe. People like solar.”