October 23, 2014

Conservation is Conservative

GOP Shows Conservation is a Conservative Cause

Better late than never! A column by Grover Norquist and Patrick Gleason (both of Americans for Tax Reform), published in July, just came to our attention.

“What’s clear is that, for at least the next two years, the White House, Washington Democrats and TV commentators will continue to portray Republicans as anti-environment. All while promoting policies that would cut gross domestic product and kill jobs. Yet Republicans at the state level are implementing innovative policies that reduce emissions, while saving taxpayer dollars.”

As Republicans (and ConservAmerica’s members are Republicans), we believe the best government is that closest to the people. And it is in state and local government where conservation practices translate into transparent budgetary savings as well as improved environmental conditions.

The original column, in its entirety, is here.

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Comments

  1. Unfortunately, we are not seeing this in Pennsylvania. Our Republican (and a few Democratic) politicians are pushing legislation that will undermine our state’s Game and Fish Commissions’ ability to protect endangered species. They are threatening to lease more state forest land to gas drilling, despite our own DCNR’s stance that doing so will threaten forest integrity. PA DEP keeps stalling on its obligation to publish its climate impacts report on time, and struggles to keep up with monitoring all the drilling activity taking place. Our state’s solar initiative has been de-funded and will expire at the end of 2013. As for the environmental protections in the recently passed Act 13, it was a good start, but it grandfathered in existing wells and well pads, and contains many work-arounds for drillers.

    At the federal level, Pennsylvania’s politicians have not designated any new wilderness areas in the state since 1964, and they consistently vote against environmental legislation. I have only just scratched the surface; in my opinion, we are not seeing any conservation-minded progress from Pennsylvania’s “conservative” lawmakers.

  2. I can’t speak to state or local officials in Pennsylvania, but I do know Congressmen Gerlach, Dent, and Fitzpatrick share our values. Some others are also thoughtful and will listen to conservation-minded constituents with an open mind.

  3. Dave Keith says:

    Rob, I wish I could say the same about Thompson or Toomey.

    I am not sure what metrics you use to assess your officials’ conservation voting record, but the League of Conservation Voters web site is a good way, in my opinion. According to them, there aren’t very many Republicans from PA with good conservation-minded voting records, which is a shame.

  4. ConservAmerica relies on one-on-one discussions with candidates and members of Congress, and votes of importance to our members. We give credit to work done behind the scenes like helping to line up co-sponsors for critical bills or public statements that could help lead Republicans toward our goals. We are careful to consider bills where legislative intent is very clear.

    LCV is a great organization and the pioneer in environmental politics. It is safe to say Republicans who score well on the LCV scorecard are excellent on our issues. However, you really have to dig into the actual votes scored by them or any green group. Frequently, procedural votes, or bills with multiple amendments, are used and skew the score against a member of the Republican caucus. A case in point: Bob Dold (R-IL) lost his re-election in 2012 in part because his Democratic opponent used one LCV-scored vote to claim Dold was in favor of drilling for oil and gas in the Great Lakes. There is no stronger proponent of protecting the Great Lakes than Bob Dold. Yet, because he voted against the bill for a completely unrelated reason, left-of-center environmental groups painted him as something he was not. In his district, on the SW coast of Lake Michigan, that misrepresentation made a difference, and we lost a voice of reason within the Republican caucus.

    Fortunately, Bob is running again in 2014!

    • Dave Keith says:

      Thank you for the information concerning LCV. And I am a newcomer to this site, so it is very enlightening to get a perspective on how ConservAmerica works. I look forward to improving my communications with my representatives concerning conservation and environmental initiatives.

  5. William Wiley says:

    Happy 2014. We in NM have a republican governor who doesn’t have protection of land,air,water,plants & animals as a high priority. I will lobby in Santa Fe for REP to get a 1) competent dir. of Game & Fish, 2) ditch irrigation reform & 3) smaller govt.

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