Most engineers I find to be conservative because the industry is mostly guys, it's kinda like gaming a bit, it was always a guys club, so it's not like we had to worry about pc culture, gay rights, and all that stupid shit, though despite that I'm for gay rights. And the tax thing for engineers isn't the only thing that makes them conservative, most are inherently conservative people before starting their careers and grow more right leaning as the years went on.
On the second one though I think it really depends on who ya ask, I know certain places like West Virginia literally dedicate their whole existence to coal mining so I don't see where they would go if it was taken away. But for other land it's really up to the people, we have a lot of new age conservatives under Trump's admin who are around Gen Y-GenZ who tend to actually listen to their voters than throw in their own selves for the sake of the party. My state protects it's land even outside of state parks, the entire UP's existence is based off of the "cut one tree, plant a another" ideal. As well even though my governor's a democrat, many Michiganders in general support her platform on land maintenance. I only can really somewhat understand being conservative for my state's standards though.
I agree somewhat on your last point, but I think you're mixing conservatives and the Republican party. Conversatives tend to vote R because well, in a fucked 2 party system voting 3rd party is a wasted vote and you'll obviously not vote to completely destroy your values, so R.... lol But most conservatives don't conserve the same values, hell even from this convo with you, the values I conserve as a person would be incredibly different from let's say a conservative from Georgia with a completely different background. And if the mix of the R party is a bunch of people who conserve different things, then it seems like there's a hive mind as the platform only supports certain things. There's also the point that every vote in congress is set ahead of time anyway, so like D48, R52, no matter the vote because well it is what it is at this point, so state politicians well only really voice their real opinions during state elections where they appeal to people they know.
That conspiracy theory thing is kinda hit or miss, cause even liberals believe in some of those and some end up being true as corrupt leaders begin to die so idk