Anti-environmental Republicans, squirrels, birds, turtles and an Indian chief

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Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives seem oblivious to the fact that a large number of Americans are conservationists, and that they strongly oppose weakening laws to protect our nation’s water and air, its public lands, and to conserve its wildlife and other natural resources.

An editorial in the New Your Times (Oct. 15) reported that the Republican-controlled House had voted 168 times this year to undercut clean air and water laws while blocking efforts to limit global warming, protect public lands, and guard against future oil spills.

The editorial contends a “new breed of Republicans” is responsible for passage of the anti- environmental legislation and is “driven by antiregulatory fervor, allegiance to industry, and a refusal to accept the fact of climate change.” These Republicans are seeking “to tear apart the edifice of environmental law, constructed largely under Republican president Richard Nixon and sustained until recently by bipartisan support.”

The editorial concludes, “The Republicans, predictably, claim that regulations cost jobs, and that all they are trying to do is to help the working man. What they are really doing by destroying years of environmental law is putting the interests of corporations above all others and threatening public health.”

President Obama must be laughing up his sleeve, contemplating the votes he and other Democrats will receive from independents and conservation-minded voters who normally vote Republican but will switch their votes if the anti-environmental congressmen continue to disregard their opinions and display a “Let them eat cake” attitude when asked to exercise a modicum of environmental sensitivity.

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