Monday, July 12, 2004

Republicans for Environmental Protection

In the interest of showing how non-hateful liberals can be, I have added a Republican website to my blogroll: REP America,  or Republicans for Environmental Protection.  From their homepage:

Welcome to REP America...
the national grassroots organization of Republicans for Environmental Protection
"the environmental conscience of the GOP" "Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of ensuring the safety and continuance of the nation." --President Theodore Roosevelt

"I do not intend that our natural resources shall be exploited by the few against the interests of the many." --President Theodore Roosevelt

"REP America represents the very best of the Republican Party. It’s pragmatic. It advocates policies that are good in their own right. It represents the mainstream of Republican thought. I encourage all conservation-minded Republicans to join me in supporting the work of REP America." -- Theodore Roosevelt IV, Lifetime Member of REP America

From one of their press releases:

Media Release

REP America Statement on Bush Administration's Management of National Parks

July 1, 2003

Contact: Jim DiPeso, (253) 740-2066

REP America, the national grassroots organization of Republicans for environmental protection, is disappointed with the Bush administration's performance in managing our national parks, the crown jewels of America's natural, cultural, and historic heritage.

We were encouraged two years ago when President Bush promised to restore and renew the parks. However, the administration's actions since then have, with some exceptions, put our national park system at greater risk.

Polluted air endangers Great Smoky Mountains, Sequoia/Kings Canyon, and other parks. Yet the administration has weakened cleanup requirements for old, dirty power plants.

Unmanaged off-road vehicles are tearing up public lands throughout the West. Yet the administration has opened the door to an ORV onslaught in Western national parks through a rule that could validate dubious highway right-of-way claims asserted by state and local governments inside park boundaries.

Noisy snowmobiles are spreading pollution and harming wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, America's oldest. Yet the administration has dismissed the concerns of park scientists and proposed a policy that would increase snowmobile use.

Inadequate funding has led to deterioration of park resources nationwide. Yet the administration has not requested sufficient funding to eliminate the parks maintenance backlog, as promised, or to meet current operating needs.

In a few cases, the Bush administration has done right by the parks. Federal funding will be available for restoring Everglades National Park. A commitment has been made to buy out oil and gas leases at Big Cypress National Preserve. The administration has backed up the Park Service's recommendation to close a damaging road in Canyonlands National Park. A proposal to build huge jetties at Cape Hatteras National Seashore has been shelved.

The Bush administration can improve its park stewardship record, but a significant change in direction is necessary. REP America recommends that the administration support, at a minimum, the following:

  • Legislation requiring all fossil fuel power plants to meet modern pollution control standards by a fixed date without exceptions.
  • Blocking all asserted highway right-of-way claims in all national parks, national monuments, national wildlife refuges, and all wilderness areas and wilderness study areas.
  • Restoring the 2000 rule phasing out snowmobiles from Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway.
  • Park budgets that will fully fund operational needs and eliminate the parks maintenance backlog within five years.
  • Full funding of Land and Water Conservation Act purchases, totaling $900 million, half for federal land acquisition.
  • Retaining the President's authority under the Antiquities Act to establish national monuments on public lands.
  • Congressional designation of wilderness areas recommended by the Park Service.
As Republicans, we cherish the national parks heritage that our nation's past leaders, both Republicans and Democrats, established and expanded on our behalf. Our national parks connect Americans with our country's land and history in tangible, irreplaceable ways. We call on the Bush administration to honor our past and take responsibility for our future by becoming better stewards of our heritage today.

Prepared by Jim DiPeso
Policy Director