The 6 Greenest Republicans in Office

Photo via Civic Alert

Governor Tim Pawlenty

Minnesota's governor got some time in the spotlight last year when he was rumored to be John McCain's pick for vice presidential candidate--we all know what happened instead. Now, he's considered a frontrunner for presidential candidate in 2012. If that happens, Republicans will have one of their greenest up for nomination. He's signed legislation requiring Minnesota to get 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025, and followed up a year later with a slew of initiatives designed to promote solar, wind, and other clean energy sources with tax incentives. He's helped stymie traffic congestion by halting freeway expansion, and has considered imposing a gas tax as well.

Photo via Indy Bay

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sure, it helps to be motivated by one of the greenest constituencies in the nation, but California's Governator has had a pretty progressive record on environmental issues nonetheless. And he's no newcomer to the green game, either--he signed 29 environmental bills into law back in 2005, he's headed up climate coalitions to foster cooperation between corporations and government in fighting global warming, and recommended higher gas prices and CO2 reports long before Mr. Obama's EPA began doing the same. And yes, he's been an unfortunate advocate of the hummer, but he's also (not-so subtly) called on Detroit to make more fuel efficient cars. He's also a supporter of solar technology--he plans on installing 3,000 Megawatts of solar in CA by 2017.

Photo via MSNBC

Senator Susan Collins

Maine's Senator Susan Collins has found herself atop the Republicans for Environmental Protection Scorecard (pdf) for two years in a row now, and for good reason--she's been an outspoken supporter of legislation to combat climate change for years now. She might not be able to give the issue the publicity a figure like McCain does, but she's slowly building a pro-clean energy, pro-greenhouse gas regulation consensus within GOP circles. She's gone as far as traveling to Alaska to meet with climate scientists to better understand global warming. Collins was one of only 3 senators to vote for Obama's green-leaning stimulus bill, and has been an ardent supporter of bipartisanship on environmental issues as well. She supports a national renewable energy standard, stricter mercury regulations, greater auto efficiency requirements, fought against offshore drilling, and rallied support for tax incentives for hybrid cars. Politicians--Republican, Democrat, or Independent--don't come much greener than that.

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Tags: Congress | Conservation | Global Warming Solutions


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