Newt Gingrich

Former Speaker of the House

Newt Gingrich at the Iowa State Fair

Newt Gingrich at the Iowa State Fair     Photo: Gage Skidmore

Outdoor cred: 1

Environmental cred: 8

Bio: The Republican policy geek to end all policy geeks, Gingrich served as a congressman for two decades—including a stint as the Speaker of the House for four tumultuous years during the Clinton administration. He spent much of his childhood in Pennsylvania but moved to Georgia in high school and has made the state his home ever since. He holds a PhD in history from Tulane University, and taught history and environmental studes at the University of West Georgia (West Georgia College, at the time) in the early 1970s.

Telling quote: “I don’t think that we have conclusive proof of global warming.”

Loves to: visit zoos, according to his Facebook page. And run for president.

Environmental stance: Where to begin? He wants to replace the EPA with a vague and undefined government bureau called the Environmental Solutions Agency (ESA); he’s a big fan of nuclear power to reduce our carbon footprint, and he was for cap and trade before he was against it. He once wrote a book called “A Contract with the Earth,” a 10-point plan to encourage politicians of all stripes to work together, through the free market, to solve pressing environmental issues. But later he wrote another one called “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less.” Four years ago, Gingrich starred with Nancy Pelosi in an ad advocating environmental action for Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection.

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