Republicans for Environmental Protection Throw in the Towel on “Republican”

April 3, 2012

 My slightly altered version of the Republicans for Environmental Protection logo (above) turned out to be prescient.


Republicans for Environmental Protection is dropping the “Republican” — after 17 years of trying to demonstrate that a group can comfortably exist in today’s GOP while championing causes like global warming and opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The group’s new name is ConservAmerica, a name that’s supposed to represent “the inherent connection between conservation and conservatism” while appealing to an audience that has grown less party-affiliated.

“We’re seeing more and more independents out there,” said David Jenkins, the group’s vice president for governmental and political affairs. “Messaging through a Republican frame doesn’t reach those people as well as reaching them through a conservative frame.”

Still, Jenkins insists that Republicans — and conservatives as a whole — haven’t really abandoned the environmental cause, despite what people may be hearing from talk radio hosts and many of the GOP’s elected officials. Jenkins doesn’t think the party’s membership has changed that much since 2008, when it nominated John McCain as president.

“The radicals on talk radio want to define conservatives as much more of a libertarian type of frame,” he said. But he added, “If you see polling with Republicans on environmental issues, whether it’s fuel economy standards or clean energy, you’ll see the vast majority of Republicans are in favor of those things.”

The group also is keeping REP’s green elephant logo.

But some who largely agree with the group’s green goals say the Republican Party’s ideological shift is real — and a big problem for ConservAmerica.

“Under either name … they face a fundamental challenge that the pro conservation party of Roosevelt, Nixon, Schwarzenegger and McCain has become the climate science denial party of Romney, Santorum and Limbaugh,” said Daniel Weiss, director of climate strategy for the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

“Changing its name is unlikely to alter the Republican party culture where denial of climate science has become another litmus test,” Weiss added.


8 Responses to “Republicans for Environmental Protection Throw in the Towel on “Republican””

  1. climatehawk1 Says:

    That’s really a shame, won’t do much to encourage more rational political discourse.

  2. MorinMoss Says:

    When EVERY (except Huntsman) of the candidates for the Republican nomination, when the most prominent of their members of Congress, when their defacto powers behind the throne (Limbaugh, Norquist) have either done a complete about face or have long-held the view that it’s all a leftist plot to impose a global Reich, it’s clear that the GOP train won’t be stopping at Sanityville anytime soon.

    We had the dentally-challenged TeaPartites protesting all things Obama and the Occupy Unwashed out in force against the ideological heirs of Crassus but we’re supposed to cut the putative rational conservatives slack when they, the stout defenders of freedom and rugged individualism, don’t call out their leaders?

    “We’re not crazy, we just follow crazy people” should be their motto.

  3. sailrick Says:

    Remember Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, 1960s lefty activists?

    To find an equivalent amount of extremism on the left, as now exists on the right, you would have to go back to the 1960s, but imagine that 100 Rubins and Hoffmans were in Congress, with several of them running for president.

  4. witsendnj Says:

    “…the pro conservation party of Roosevelt, Nixon, Schwarzenegger and McCain…”

    That is completely phony. Republican environmentalism only existed because they didn’t realize quite how damaging pollution would become, and exactly what it would take to do anything meaningful about it. In other words, a profit-driven growth economy and a healthy ecosystem can’t co-exist. As soon as they figured it out, denialism took over – denialism of climate change and even more, denialism of pollution, as scientific information started coming out in the ’80’s about crop and forest damage from ozone and acid rain. That all got covered up in a very elaborate campaign, and anyone who talked publicly about it was, as one forester described it to me, TORMENTED until they gave up.

    Just look at how the Scherer coal plant is silencing people who live in the vicinity and are dying of cancer. These people are probably terrified – they’re sick and their homes have lost all value – so they take whatever money the company gives them in exchange for agreeing to not talk. Sickening.

  5. Peter Mizla Says:

    The GOP of today will never admit to global warming- till the NY subway system is unusable, floods inundate The National Mall on a regular basis, and dust bowls return to the lower great plains forever.

    Science- Global Warming- is turning out to be the Ultra Capitalists most vexing enigma- that is spoiling their greedy show. And its really great!

    Perhaps some 30 years down the road, a pragmatic republican will finally accept the science- when the nation is reeling from the results of powerful feedback’s of soaring C02- which are causing havoc and tearing at the social fabric of this country- at least what is left habitable.

  6. We didn’t throw in the towel! We’ve been applying market research to our organization’s efforts for the past 18 months. One major decision: we needed a name that would work better with social media (our former name ate up most of the allocated spaces in a single Tweet!

    We tested a couple dozen new names, including our former name, and ConservAmerica came out far ahead of the others. Yes, it will take awhile to support the new brand…but we believe it will be a long term benefit to us and the our mission.

    Our mission has not changed. Visit to read that mission!

    Rob Sisson, President

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: