Election Reaffirms Need For Bipartisan Cooperation On Conservation

A window of opportunity to realign the politics of the environment

11-07-2012 // Miles Grant
Bald eagle soaring

Voters re-elected President Obama and rewarded conservation-minded Congressional candidates last night, particularly in the Senate where candidates like Montana’s Jon Tester and Florida’s Bill Nelson were re-elected and open seats were filled by Maine’s Angus King and New Mexico’s Martin Heinrich.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said today:

We are excited that voters have sent so many conservation leaders to Washington, new faces and old. These elections have opened a window of opportunity to realign the politics of the environment. Looking ahead, the question is whether Democrats and Republicans will work together to address the conservation issues facing America. For that to happen, Republicans in Washington need to listen to the strong conservation views of younger voters, women, Hispanics and even sportsmen.

“The election results should be a wake-up call for any politician who doesn't have a responsible plan for conservation, particularly on the heels of superstorm Sandy. Along with the extreme droughts and wildfires of the past summer, Sandy has not only increased the urgency of tackling climate change, but also thrust the environment back into the spotlight.

“This election featured GOP candidates who took a sharp departure from the Republican Party’s strong history of leading fights for stewardship of America’s lands, wildlife, clean air and clean water. As GOP leaders look for ways to broaden their appeal, we invite them to start by returning to the party’s Teddy Roosevelt conservation roots and offering a vision of Republican environmental leadership that connects with the strong environmental values of voters.”

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