Newt Gingrich, the Environment's Best Fiend
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich announced today that he is running for president in 2012, and just in case you were somehow swayed by his 2007 plea for environmental bipartisanship, A Contract with the Earth, you may want to take a look at today’s Daily Beast story on Newt’s war on the EPA. Gingrich wants to abolish the agency created by fellow Republican Richard Nixon in 1970, and his political action committee, American Solutions for Winning the Future, has buckets of coal, power, and offshore-drilling-industry money to push the agenda: $1,550,000 received in 2010 alone. (Actually, Gingrich’s group claims it only wants to “replace” the EPA with a “new and improved Environmental Solutions Agency” – which Grist neatly pointed out back in January is basically an attempt to replace standards and regulations that work with voluntary measures and incentives that don’t.
Not that there's a groundswell of support for Newt's idea. According to a CNN poll in April, 71 percent of Americans think the government should continue to fund the EPA and its efforts "to enforce regulations on greenhouse gases and other environmental issues."