Conservative Group Slams Speaker
Newt Gingrich's Environmental Record

A press release issued June 24, 1996 by The National Center for Public Policy Research
202/543-4110, (202) 543-5975, http://www.nationalcenter.org.

Contact: David Ridenour (202) 543-4110, [email protected]

House Speaker Newt Gingrich is the single greatest threat to needed reform of environmental laws, announced the conservative National Center for Public Policy Research on June 24. The Speaker's efforts to stymie meaningful reform of the Endangered Species Act, his support for legislation that would threaten private property and subvert efforts to base legislation on sound science, and his efforts to give the environmental establishment veto power over all environmental legislation mean the Speaker should be the poster boy of the environmental movement -- not its villain -- says the group.

In recent months, environmental groups have been attempting to use the Speaker's waning popularity to sink regulatory relief efforts. But Newt Gingrich and the environmental movement are like two peas in a pod. In fact, says the group, Newt Gingrich has staked out environmental positions that are so radical that some of the staunchest environmentalists appear moderate by comparison. For example, Gingrich recently blocked changes to a dolphin protection measure that had been given the green light not only by environmental establishment Republicans like Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), but by environmental groups like Greenpeace. In May he also urged Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (R-KS) to abandon eforts to pass property rights legislation -- a measure supported by over two-thirds of the electorate.

"Given the Speaker's apparent contempt for private property rights, his penchant for 'junk science' and his indifference to the plight of Americans suffering under unreasonable regulations, he ought to be the environmental movement's poster boy -- not its villain," said David Ridenour, Vice President of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Ironically, at the very time Speaker Gingrich has been villified by the environmental movement, he's been working to ensure that they have greater say in the nation's policies. Recently, Gingrich established a House Task Force on the Environment designed to give environmentalists veto power over all environmental legislation. Gingrich appointed Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) to co-chair the Task Force, one of the House of Representatives' most rabid environmentalists -- Democrat or Republican. Boehlert received a 92% score in the League of Conservation Voters' environmental scorecard -- higher than 53% of House Democrats.

For informational materials/interviews contact David Ridenour at The National Center for Public Policy Research at (202) 543-4110.

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