Who was the greenest president? 12 environmental groups are polled and the results might surprise you

© Corporate Knights

Corporate Knights Magazine asks the question and gets a different result than we did.

A while back we asked our readers who the greenest President was, and it turned into a culture war with thousands of votes, and George Bush won in a landslide. I think it was gamed. We repeated it two years later and Teddy Roosevelt had an easy victory, followed by Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Now Corporate Knights, "the company for clean capitalism" has polled 12 leading environmentalists and environmental groups and has come up with a new list. (Full disclosure: I am a contributor to the Corporate Knights magazine.)

David Roberts of Grist is also a contributor, and writes about the winner, Teddy Roosevelt, and the second place finisher, Richard Nixon:

As a vigorous outdoorsman, Roosevelt was a proud, vocal champion of the first phase of U.S. environmentalism: conservation, aimed at protecting tracts of wild land from industrialization. The second phase of U.S. environmentalism – protecting people from industrialization, through public-health regulations – found a much less likely champion: our second place winner, Richard Milhous Nixon.

I wonder if the Republican party would recognize either of them today.

Most ironically, given the more than 200 votes today’s Republican House of Representatives have taken to block or curtail the agency’s power, Nixon, enemy of dirty hippies everywhere, created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Here are the picks of the 12 organizations:

Here is the final tally:

Read it all at Corporate Knights

The New York Times picked up the story as well, and notes that there is nothing new about debates over environmental issues.

Mr. Brune [of the Sierra Club] points out that conflicts over the environment have a long history in the United States. At the turn of the last century, “you had railroad interests that were fighting for more exploitation,” he said. “You had even more crass examples of all of these extractive industries literally buying members of Congress.”

This post was originally published on September 21, 2012.

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