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Four Republican senators form a green coalition to discuss climate change

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Four moderate Republican senators have just joined forces to encourage their party to think critically about climate change, Politico reports. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) created an "informal coalition" to work against what they believe is an unsustainable GOP outlook on environmental policy.

All four senators have previously gone on record with the belief that human activity causes climate change, a scientifically backed notion that most of the Republican Party refutes, The Hill reports. The green coalition, called the Energy and Environment Working Group, will meet periodically to discuss ways to protect the environment through legislative measures that support clean energy production, economic reform, and scientific research.

An informal green group

"The Energy and Environment Working Group will be a way for us to bring people together and start an ongoing conversation about these topics — like how we can best protect our environment and climate, pursue common sense and market-based reforms to grow our economy, and promote cleaner energy production," Ayotte said in a statement.

Ayotte is the only one in the group to support Obama's clean power plan, which is designed to cut coal emissions from power plants, Politico reports. Presidental hopeful Lindsey Graham has been outspoken in the GOP field about climate change, specifically its potential impact on industry and the American economy — a sentiment echoed by all four senators.

Ayotte and Kirk will face a tough reelection in 2017, the results of which will determine which party holds the Senate majority, The Hill reports.