Republicans are scrambling to make it look like they care about the environment


Real environmentalists are blasting a new Republican group as a 'desperate political green masquerade.'

Republicans who spent their time in Congress voting for polluters and against efforts to address climate change created a new group on Wednesday to pretend they care about the environment.

The new group is called the "Roosevelt Conservation Caucus," and will be co-chaired by three Republicans who have dismal environmental records: Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY) and Sens. Cory Gardner (CO) and Lindsey Graham (SC).

Stefanik has a 33% lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters — and she's far and away the best of the bunch. Graham has a 12% score, while Gardner clocks in at 10%.


The caucus claims it will "embrace and promote constructive efforts to address environmental problems, responsibly plan for all market factors, and base policy decisions on science and quantifiable facts," according to a statement.

However, environmental groups are very skeptical that members who have spent their careers catering to polluters will all of a sudden change their tune.

"This greenwashing caucus won't provide Congressional Republicans with the political cover they want until they actually vote to protect the environment, take on the fossil fuel industry, and tackle the climate crisis," Melinda Pierce, legislative director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement.

"Voting to open up the Arctic Refuge for drilling, put Scott Pruitt and a coal lobbyist in charge of the EPA, and consistently supporting Donald Trump's countless attacks on clean air, clean water, and the climate is the exact opposite of taking action to protect the environment, yet that is what the members of this caucus have done time and time again," she said.

The criticism didn't stop there.

The new caucus is "all hat and no cattle," Jessica Goad, deputy director of Conservation Colorado, told the Colorado Independent. "The bottom line is this: Senator Gardner has cast anti-environment votes 85 percent of the time, so the formation of the Roosevelt Conservation caucus could be a good thing, but it has to be action-oriented."

To another, the creation of a new group smelled of desperation.

"Do they really think … that they can just say they're green and people will believe them?"  Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, told the Michigan Advance. "I think it's a desperate political green masquerade."

On the other side of the aisle, Democrats have put forward real solutions to a growing climate crisis.

While some in Congress look for concrete solutions, others seem to be creating a new group to greenwash their dismal records.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.