Politics: But Will They Pack Out Their Own T.P.?

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Outside magazine, July 1996

Politics: But Will They Pack Out Their Own T.P.?
By Stephanie Pearson

A recent poll suggests that if you’re a Republican, chances are you don’t trust your party to be good to the environment. But thanks to the new Republican Task Force on the Environment, that may soon change. Anointed by Newt Gingrich last spring, the squad of 81 House members is charged with, in addition to stemming bad PR, developing a “proactive, positive agenda that is both
reasonable and reflects a common-sense approach to the environment.” Curious, we decided to take a closer look at this special Green Dream Team. What follows is a sampling, including environmental ratings awarded by the League of Conservation Voters. We had no idea that the term “environmentalist” was so inclusive



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Rep. Richard Pombo,

The 34-year-old Pombo’s overzealous mission last year to gut the Endangered Species Act raised the hackles of moderate Republicans and, yes, made even Newt Gingrich blanch.
Rep. Helen Chenoweth,

In a January 1996 speech to the House, Chenoweth called environmentalism “a cloudy mixture of New Age mysticism, Native American folklore, and primitive earth worship” and “thoroughly un-American.”
Rep. Billy Tauzin,

Dubbed “the lawmaker environmentalists love to hate” by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Tauzin since 1989 has collected more than $250,000 in campaign contributions from opponents of the Clean Water Act.
Rep. Andrea Seastrand,

Last year Seastrand voted for the so-called Dirty Water Act, which sought to relax water pollution regulations, and supported riders to a bill seeking to reduce the EPA’s protection powers.
Rep. James Hansen,

Introduced a bill that would open 20 million acres of BLM land in Utah to development while protecting just 1.8 million acres as wilderness. But never mind the poor rating, he says proudly: “I’ve spent more time in the outback than any environmentalist.”

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