Republicans for Environmental Protection Blast GOP for Assault on Clean Air Act


Photo credit: SeƱor Codo via Flickr/CC BY-SA

It's important to remember that not all Republicans want to de-fund the EPA, roll back the Clean Air Act, and allow climate change to continue unperturbed. That may be the public party platform of elected GOP officials in the House and the Senate about now, but there are still indeed regular old conservative citizens who think what elected Republicans are trying to do to the environment is crazy. And some of them, like the Republicans for Environmental Protection, are straight up pissed off. You may recall last week that the federal budget was being held hostage by an ideological battle between the two parties -- the GOP wanted deeper spending cuts, and, among other things, the right to attach a 'rider' to the bill that would have prevented the EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act in its most recent incarnation.

The GOP is also trying to -- and appears to have succeeded -- gut the EPA's budget as well. The most recent reports show that the agency is facing $1 billion-plus cuts to its operating budget, slashing the organization by 16%.

All this doesn't sit well with the Republicans for Environmental Protection, who released a statement berating the party leadership last week. From said statement (via Climate Crocks):

"With an agreement reached on spending cuts, the blame for a government shutdown--should it occur--rests squarely on the shoulders of Speaker Boehner and the party's radical libertarian fringe that is holding out for policy riders designed to turn the clock back on environmental stewardship," David Jenkins, REP vice president for government and political affairs, said.

"True conservatives should realize that fiscal stewardship and environmental stewardship are two sides of the same coin. Both are required to fulfill our responsibility to future generations," Jenkins said. "Unfortunately, the GOP ranks in Congress these days are not filled with many thoughtful, stewardship-minded conservatives."

Zing. And it gets better:
"It is quite troubling that House Republicans are so hell-bent on rolling back environmental protections that have enjoyed overwhelming Republican support in the past," Jim DiPeso, REP vice president for policy and communications said. "It is telling that we have seen EPA administrators who served under Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush come out strongly opposed to the GOP attack on EPA and the Clean Air Act."

"House Republicans, and the Tea Party radicals leading them around by the nose, may want to return to the libertarian glory days when smog clouded our cities and rivers caught on fire, but most Americans--Republican, Democrat or independent--don't. They want clean air and water, they support environmental protection laws, and they want Congress to quit playing politics with public health and let EPA do its job," Jenkins said.
Hear, hear! That's some conservatism I can get behind -- the kind that deems it worthwhile to conserve our natural resources and preserve a livable climate for future generations. The kind that knows that there are things worth conserving besides corporate profits ...

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