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Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP) is a national organization of United States Republican Party voters formed in 1995. REP’s stated purpose is to strengthen the Republican Party’s stance on environmental issues and support efforts to conserve natural resources and protect human and environmental health. Incorporated in Illinois, its headquarters are in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Often labeled by its opponents as part of the Republican Party’s moderate-to-liberal faction, REP boasts a nationwide grassroots membership of Republicans who have united around a strong conservation and environmental stewardship ethic. REP has members in 49 states and formal chapters in 10 states.

REP’s slogan, "Conservation is Conservative," is based on the traditional conservative philosophy of luminaries like British statesman Edmund Burke, President Theodore Roosevelt, and authors Russell Kirk and Richard Weaver. REP asserts in its literature that conservation and responsible environmental stewardship are core conservative values that necessarily extend from concepts such as prudence, personal responsibility, thrift and Burke’s view that society is a partnership among past, present and future generations.

Contents

Mission

REP’s mission is: To resurrect the GOP's great conservation tradition and to restore natural resource conservation and sound environmental protection as fundamental elements of the Republican Party's vision for America.

The conservation tradition that REP seeks to resurrect began with Abraham Lincoln’s initial protection of Yosemite Valley and continued with the landmark accomplishments of Theodore Roosevelt. (Reiger, John (2003), "Lessons from History: The Conservation Legacy of Theodore Roosevelt", Theodore Roosevelt Association Journal 25 (4): 10–15)   Other Republican environmental leaders most often touted by REP include Presidents Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Senators John Chafee, William Roth and John McCain, Congressman John Saylor, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

History

REP was founded by three women, Martha Marks, Kim O'Keefe-Wilkins and Aurie Kryzuda, who met at an endangered species conference in Chevy Chase, Maryland in 1995. As lifelong Republicans, they were concerned about what they saw as shortsighted rollbacks in environmental laws proposed by the new Republican majority in the 104th Congress.

In 2000, REP endorsed Senator John McCain for President and helped him craft his position on climate change. REP did not endorse George W. Bush in the general election and actively opposed the nomination of Gale Norton as Secretary of the Interior.

In 2005, REP was instrumental in stopping efforts allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. REP helped organize a group of Republican House members to oppose an attempt to include drilling authorization in budget legislation that would be immune from filibuster in the Senate. William H. Meadows, President of the Wilderness Society, noted: “There are many organizations—national, regional, local—that have worked diligently to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for decades, but the most important organization in the campaign this year has been REP.”

Issue advocacy

REP advocates for responsible stewardship on a wide variety of environment and energy-related issues. The organization defends the landmark environmental laws of the 1960s and 1970s that were crafted with broad bi-partisan support, such as the Wilderness Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.

Some examples from its website: Military Leaders Sound Climate Alarm and Amazing Distortions Related to Global Warming.

In recent years REP has focused heavily on energy and climate issues, advocating for the United States to wean itself off its heavy dependence on oil and other fossil fuels through greater efficiency, and more use of renewable and nuclear energy.

REP’s environmental policy positions are covered in the organization’s policy publication C.E.P. Quarterly and detailed in a variety of REP policy papers. These resources are posted to the organization’s website.

Each year, REP publishes a Congressional Scorecard that rates Republican members of Congress based on the votes they cast and the leadership actions they took to advance what REP classifies as environmental stewardship.

Political activity

REP endorses Republican candidates who generally share its positions on environmental issues. In 2006, REP was active in the Republican primaries and the general election. REP endorsed 30 candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, six candidates for the U.S. Senate, and one gubernatorial candidate.

REP has an affiliated political action committee called REP PAC and an independent 527 group called the REP Conservation Fund. Both work to elect or defend Republicans who have what REP calls strong environmental credentials.

State chapters

REP’s 10 state chapters take positions on state environmental issues and advocate for them in their state legislatures. The chapters also hold educational events for members and others. REP’s chapters are located in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.

Board of Directors

  • President: Rob Sisson
  • Vice President for Policy & Communications: Jim DiPeso
  • Vice President for Government & Political Affairs: David Jenkins
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Honorary Board

Senate

House

References

External links


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