- The Washington Times - Monday, October 4, 2010

Who are Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP)?

Steve Milloy thinks he knows, but his Sept. 28 column, “Republicans green with Democrat envy” (Opinion), is an excursion in misrepresentation.

REP includes businessmen, doctors, military officers, clergymen, scientists and many other Republicans who value a healthy environment and treasured landscapes.

We think that real conservatives conserve. We accept the wisdom of conservative statesman Edmund Burke that we are obligated by custom, tradition and morality to be good stewards.

About REP’s so-called “liberal eco-agenda”: Take clean air - many of our members remember the debilitating pollution that once afflicted America’s cities. Republican President Nixon and then-Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr., Tennessee Republican, got the Clean Air Act passed and we’re much healthier as a result.

The first blow against smog was not Nixon’s, however, but was landed by a California governor, who signed legislation to set tough tailpipe-emissions limits.

In a speech years later, that governor said: “I’m proud of having been one of the first to recognize that states and the federal government have a duty to protect our natural resources from the damaging effects of pollution that can accompany industrial development.”

Those words were Ronald Reagan‘s. Does Mr. Milloy believe that Reagan was pushing a “radical environmentalist agenda of total government control over energy use and property?”

We strongly support climate stewardship. We think that it is prudent to take seriously the findings of climate scientists, not the fake controversies that Mr. Milloy and others have manufactured to sow confusion about important issues such as global warming and ozone depletion.

Speaking of the ozone layer, it is on the mend, thanks to the Montreal Protocol.

Surely, Mr. Milloy remembers that landmark treaty to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals. President Reagan proudly called the treaty a “monumental achievement” of his administration. Does Mr. Milloy believe that Reagan was one of those “misguided highbrows who think the government ought to protect the natural world from the plundering plebeians?”

It’s apparent that Mr. Milloy has knocked back so much radical libertarian Kool-Aid that he has forgotten traditional conservative values, which obligate us to be good stewards. REP has not and never will.

ROB SISSON

President

Republicans for Environmental Protection

Sturgis, Mich.