GOP leaders should protect the environment

By JIM DIPESO

AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: Letter to the editor, Valley Daily News, published April 25, 1996

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The upcoming election presents a stark choice for the Republican party. Down one path lies a chance to be America’s majority for the next generation. Down another lies a blown opportunity of historic proportions. So far, the party’s leaders in Congress seem bent on taking the latter path. The reason is the congressional leadership’s absurd proposals to gut sound conservation and environmental protection laws, many enacted under the direction of Republican leaders such as Richard Nixon.

The citizens of this country put Republicans in charge of Congress two years ago to shape up the federal government by balancing the budget, streamlining bureaucracies, eliminating ineffective programs and cleaning up campaign finance corruption. They didn’t elect Republicans to blast holes in sensible laws that keep our air and water clean, protect public health and conserve our natural heritage for the future.

To knock some sense into the heads of Republican leaders before they do more damage to the party, Republicans for Environmental Protection, a new national organization, has formed and is active in several states, including Washington.

As a new and excited member of REP, I am optimistic we can get our congressional leaders to sober up, stop the assault on laws broadly supported by the American people and put conservation back into conservatism.  (NOTE ADDED IN 2020: In his last sentence, Jim provided REP’s snail-mail address in Illinois. Had he been writing in these days, he surely would have provided the website: rep.org.)