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Homepage / ENERGY

Republican Supporters of the Environment -- PICTURES

photo of Ethan Klapper
October 1, 2011

Despite the current view of many Republicans that global warming is a myth, the party has a long record of supporting the environment. From former presidents to current senators, many Republicans, at one point or another, have backed environmental initiatives. Here are a few.

Theodore Roosevelt Roosevelt served as the nation's 26th president, from 1901 to 1909. He was a noted conservationist, and created the U.S. Forest Service in 1905. He also signed laws that created five new national parks (though the National Park Service was formed after his presidency). Roosevelt also signed into law the Antiquities Act of 1906. Using that authority, he created 18 new national monuments.— PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS(Wikimedia Commons)

Dwight Eisenhower The 34th president's most notable environmental policy was the creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Eisenhower's Interior Secretary, Fred Andrew Seaton, created the nation's largest wildlife refuge in 1960. Ironically, it was Eisenhower who signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which created the Interstate Highway System that bears his name.— PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS(Wikimedia Commons)

Richard Nixon The 37th president is responsible for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency: the Nixon Administration submitted a reorganization plan to Congress, which then ratified it. In the 2012 campaign cycle, the EPA has become a top target of conservative Republicans. — PHOTO: NATIONAL ARCHIVES(National Archive/Newsmakers)


George W. Bush The 43rd president was generally not a friend of the environment. His policies led to increased logging in national forests, and his Interior Department approved oil and gas development work to take place on Alaska's North Slope. However, in January 2009, Bush designated nearly 200,000 miles of the Pacific Ocean as a national monument, creating the world's largest protected marine area.— PHOTO: RON EDMONDS/AP PHOTO(Ron Edmonds/AP Photo)

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. In recent months, McCain has subscribed to his party's conservative base when it comes to global warming. In 2010, he said that 80 percent of global warming science "is based on fraud and misinformation." But earlier on, McCain sponsored three versions of the Climate Stewardship Act with Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. This bill, if passed (all three failed to garner enough votes), would have created a cap and trade system to limit greenhouse gasses.— PHOTO: LIZ LYNCH(Liz Lynch)

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. In December 2009, Graham co-signed a letter to President Obama with Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., telling him that they are committed to passing climate change legislation. Graham had been identified as a leading supporter of climate change legislation in the Senate's Republican caucus. But, times change. Last year, Graham called the people who believe in climate change "alarmist" and said he would vote against the bill he originally co-sponsored.— PHOTO: J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP PHOTO(J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

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