Climate Change And Paul Ryan: Romney's VP Pick Irks Environmentalists

Why Paul Ryan Irks Environmentalists

"Unilateral economic restraint in the name of fighting global warming has been a tough sell in our communities, where much of the state is buried under snow..." Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate, argued in a 2009 op-ed.

The Wisconsin congressman's lack of support for clean energy and climate change programs has led many environmentalists to react with outrage over Romney's pick. (Romney himself has reversed stances on man-made global warming, declaring, “we don’t know what’s causing climate change.”)

As co-founder Bill McKibben tweeted, "Meet Paul Ryan--it snowed in my district, so let's not do anything about climate change".

The Environment page of Ryan's House website states that Ryan supports strong conservation programs, then adds: "Spending on programs contained in the Natural Resources and Environment portion of the Budget ... has increased by 20.4 percent since the start of the current Administration. The House-passed budget recognizes the importance of these activities, which includes overseeing water resources, conservation, land management, and recreational resources. However, bigger government has not equated to better government, and it has only led to duplication, waste, and mismanagement."

Earning a measly 3% in the League of Conservation Voters 2011 National Environmental Scorecard, the advocacy group tweeted with a link to Open Secrets, "Paul Ryan has received $244,250 (and counting) from the oil and gas industry."

The Sierra Club raised similar concerns, with Executive Director Michael Brune stating in a press release: “There is a reason big polluters have given Paul Ryan hundreds of thousands of dollars and why the Koch Brothers are one of his top donors – he’s tried to turn their wildest fantasies into law. From rejecting the reality of climate disruption to attacking good-paying clean energy jobs to trying to gut the EPA’s ability to protect our air, our water, and the health of our families, Ryan operates out of the dirty energy playbook."

Brad Johnson dissects Ryan's voting record on ThinkProgress, including his efforts "to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from limiting greenhouse pollution, to eliminate White House climate advisers, to block the U.S. Department of Agriculture from preparing for climate disasters..."

In the same op-ed as his snow stance, Ryan argued, "e-mails from leading climatologists make clear efforts to use statistical tricks to distort their findings and intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change."

Ryan's emergence as the Republican vice presidential candidate comes as the U.S. sweltered through its hottest month ever recorded, a former climate skeptic declared his "conversion," and the "godfather of global warming" blamed past heat waves directly on climate change.

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