Grand Canyon

Theodore Roosevelt And Gifford Pinchot Turning Over In Their Graves At Republican Party War On National Parks And Other Environmental Concerns!

The Republican Party a century ago had leaders who cared about the environment, and promoted conservation as a basic national policy.

Governor and later Senator Robert LaFollette, Sr. of Wisconsin; Senator George Norris of Nebraska; US Forestry Service Director and later Governor of Pennsylvania Gifford Pinchot; and President Theodore Roosevelt, all of them progressive Republicans in domestic affairs, made the promotion of national and state parks and monuments a priority. They set a standard for Democrats who followed their lead, including Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama, who just announced three new national park designations in California, Nevada, and Texas. Obama has added 260 million acres and 19 national monuments in office, making him one of the great leaders on that endeavor. We should also mention Republican President Richard Nixon, who despite many faults and shortcomings, did enough to be rated number two among Presidents on the environment, by a conservation group.

Additionally, we were fortunate to have such outstanding Secretaries of the Interior as Harold Ickes under FDR; Stewart Udall under JFK and LBJ; Walter Hickel under Nixon; Cecil Andrus under Carter; and Bruce Babbitt under Clinton to emphasize the importance of the environment in all of its manifestations.

But the Republican Party of present times is anti conservation, anti environment, fights the concept of global warming and climate change, and has allowed itself to come under the influences of wealthy energy interests that would love to mine uranium in the Grand Canyon; destroy native American and paleontological sites; and conduct fracking for natural gas, despite the vast dangers to health and safety, including water pollution and greatly increased earthquake activity, as in Oklahoma, for instance. The Koch Brothers have had a particularly deleterious effect on the issue of the environment. And Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma is the worst possible enemy of the environmental movement in Congress, and is head, by seniority, of the Senate committee that deals with the subject.

The failure to see the importance of preserving our natural treasures is mind boggling, and those groups involved in promoting the environment know they have a massive challenge to keep what was given to us, and until the 20th century, was being gutted by rapacious capitalists in the oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, and lumber industries who only saw, and still see, only the almighty profit motive, including lack of concern for danger to wildlife!

Fifty Years Of Environmentalism—Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama— All To Be Applauded!

Today, April 22, is Earth Day, first declared by Richard Nixon and his Interior Secretary Walter Hickel in 1970, but the environmental movement was begun, actually, by Lyndon B. Johnson and Interior Secretary Stewart Udall in 1965 with the promotion of the first water and air pollution laws as part of the Great Society.

Jimmy Carter proceeded to promote the most advanced environmental record of any one term President, and with the great assistance of Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus.

Then, Bill Clinton, under the prodding of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and Vice President Al Gore, contributed greatly to advancement of the environment.

And Barack Obama, under the support of Interior Secretaries Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell has also contributed greatly on the issue of the environment.

Additionally, Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, and John F. Kennedy, with Interior Secretary Udall (who served for eight years under both JFK and LBJ), also did a great deal on the environment.

Sadly, with Theodore Roosevelt being the true promoter of the environment in the early part of the 20th century, and assisted by Interior Secretary James R. Garfield and close TR friend Gifford Pinchot, one would have thought that the Republican Party would have continued to be the leader on the issue, but except for Richard Nixon, that has not been the case, and now Republicans are doing everything possible to help advance industry over the environment!

This includes attempting to prevent any future national parks; allowing industrial exploitation of the Grand Canyon and other parks for mining; and wishing to undermine or destroy the Environmental Protection Agency begun during the Nixon Presidency!

So the battle to promote conservation of natural resources and add to public lands is a never ending battle between the political parties, when it should be part of the national agenda that all political leaders believe in and advocate!

Republicans Declare War On National Parks: Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, And Others Turning Over In Their Graves!

It is hard to conceive, but the 2015 Republican Party has declared war on America’s national park system, wishing to allow uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, and other kinds of natural resource exploitation in our national treasure, our public lands!

A bill has been introduced to prevent any future President, along with President Barack Obama, to create any more national parks, a bill which will gain the Presidential veto if it were to pass both houses!

Fortunately, there would be no possibility of a two thirds override of the Presidential veto, as any such banning of additional national parks would be a war on the environment, and a sin against nature!

This attack on nature and conservation would cause the turning over in their graves of President Theodore Roosevelt, National Forestry Service head Gifford Pinchot (under the TR Presidency), as well as a multitude of Republicans similar to those two party members, as well as Democrats, and all decent, caring citizens. It would also cause dismay among Presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, all who added greatly to our national parks.

Barack Obama is adding wide swaths of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to the national parks, even with opposition from Alaska politicians, including Senator Lisa Murkowksi, who is catering to the oil and gas interests over preserving the last great area of untouched nature.

This is yet another reason why no Republican can be allowed to be elected President, as with a Republican controlled Congress, we would be on the precipice of a disaster of massive proportions, and that cannot be allowed to occur!

The Republican Assault On The Environment!

The Republican Party has a heritage of Presidents who promoted the environment, but now it is being totally abandoned by the GOP House of Representatives and the Republican Presidential candidates, in their mad dash to support the oil and coal industries and others which pollute the environment and undermine Americans’ health and well being!

Theodore Roosevelt, while President from 1901-1909, became the supreme conservationist and environmentalist, promoting a quadrupling of national parks, calling conservation conferences at the White House, and working to cut industrial damage to the environment. The historian Douglas Brinkley has written a massive work hailing the environmental commitment of this second greatest Republican President, only ranking behind Abraham Lincoln in historical reputation!

Sixty years after Theodore Roosevelt left office, President Richard Nixon (1969-1974) became a major advocate of the environment, through the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, and his appointment of former Alaska Governor Walter Hickel as his Secretary of the Interior.

Twenty years after Nixon entered office, President George H. W. Bush (1989-1993) was able to get through the Clean Air Act of 1990, recognizing the great problem that had been created by industry and needing more federal intervention.

And now twenty years after Bush I became President, the party they led is backing away from any concern with the environment. It is not just Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann, but even Mitt Romney, who had earlier backed environmental protection as Governor of Massachusetts, has given up his principles in the pursuit to win the GOP Presidential nomination and appeal to Tea Party looniness! Legislation has been proposed to allow uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, a most reckless action, which thankfully can be prevented by the Democratic controlled Senate and a Democratic President using his veto.

This is a tragedy of massive proportions, and TR and Nixon must be turning over in their graves, and Bush I certainly must be very disturbed privately at the abandonment of the most important heritage America can offer to the future–clean air, clean water, clean soil!

An Absolute Environmental Sacrilege: Republican Proposals To Permit Uranium Mining In Grand Canyon!

The Grand Canyon is our greatest natural treasure, providing enjoyment and recreation to millions of tourists, and the Colorado River running through it provides drinking water to 25 million Americans.

Who would think that ANYONE would be so shortsighted to wish to have mining interests, particularly in the uranium industry, have access to the Grand Canyon, and therefore destroy this greatest of our national parks and the wildlife and plant life contained within it?

Republican Congressman Jeff Flake of Arizona, who plans to run for the US Senate seat of retiring Senator Jon Kyl in 2012, is the villain who, with financial backing of mining interests, is attempting to force a change in Interior Department rules to allow such a sacrilege!

Flake and others in the House MUST be fought tooth and nail to prevent such a outrageous rape of our greatest natural wonder! President Theodore Roosevelt would turn over in his grave if he knew what his party was attempting to do, and were he actually alive, he would be ready to go into combat to prevent such an outrage!