Saturday, October 15, 2011

Republican Presidents As Environmental Stewards

It is something I have never quite understood, the commonly held notion that conservatives and Republicans are not environmentally friendly politicians. It is a matter of communication, I conclude. Republicans are not the best at getting the message out, of correcting silly attacks.

I read something this morning that made me think about this.

George W. Bush was a constant target of the far left environmentalists and also targeted as though he is a man of lesser intelligence, by Washington, D.C. elite and life long college professor standards. It's the easy stereotype, that a Republican president is never as brilliant or intellectually curious as a Democratic president.

Along comes a blurb from Bill Clinton on George W. Bush in a recent interview:

Clinton invokes George W. Bush as an environmentalist techno-geek. As governor of Texas ('and not a lot of people know this') he signed legislation to make it more attractive to put up windmills, 'so that Texas is now the number one producer of wind energy in America. On a good day, when the wind is blowing, Texas gets 25 per cent of its baseload of electricity from wind.' ...

Why don't "a lot of people know this"? Because it wouldn't fit the stereotype, now would it? The fact of the matter is, the Republican presidents have been the ones leading in true environmental and conservation legislation.

The fact is that yes, of course, George W. Bush is an environmentalist. He's a landowner. The exercise of clearing brush on his property, for example, is not just for keeping in physical shape, it is a necessary chore for managing his property.

All the way back to Teddy Roosevelt - who began the network of federal lands used as national parks - to current day, from Richard Nixon who created the EPA and signed into law the Clean Air Act, to George W. Bush who designated the largest marine sanctuary in our nation's history, Republican presidents have led the way in conservation and environmentalism.

To deny this and allow the Democrats to wear the mantle of great environmental stewards is re-writing history.

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