A while back, we ran a Conservationist post that asked the question: Do Any Politicians Understand Sportsmans’ Concerns? which generated some debate, and a response from Nevada Congressman Dean Heller of Nevada. Since then, we’ve discussed climate change and now, with Bob Marshall’s latest piece, the attempt to contain the runaway spending of our federal government by defunding the relatively inexpensive conservation programs that are the lifeblood of America’s sporting future.

But a new question and answer between Andrew Revkin of the New York Times and Vice President David Jenkins of the group Republicans for Environmental Responsibility suggests that there are indeed, conservative politicians that understand sportsman’s concerns. They just aren’t getting the airtime that the others get.

Check out this outtake from the interview (the title is provocative, “Republicans for Environmental Protection: an Endangered Species?”), and click here for the whole, extremely interesting Q&A.
_…The policies being peddled by these folks reflect a live for today-let me do what I want mentality that has nothing to do with the conservative notion of protecting the interests of future generations. Their support for fiscal restraint is primarily due to their desire to starve and weaken the federal government, not to protect our children and grandchildren from debt. Otherwise, they should be able to recognize the fiscal stewardship and environmental stewardship are equally conservative. Their energy and environmental views promote waste, pollution, and overdependence on finite resources. Is there anything less conservative than waste?

I personally would call them liberal, because their attitude reminds me of the liberal “if it feels good do it” mantra of the 1960s, only the vices are different.

The Tea Party leaders and many of the new members of Congress they supported appear to take their cues from the talk-radio folks, not only in their policy positions and rhetoric, but also with their bully mentality. The good news is that these folks are not really representative of a majority of the rank-and-file Republicans…..

The constant Republican push for more oil drilling is primarily due to equal parts political opportunism and oil industry influence. As long as party leaders think that they can sell “drill baby drill” politically, not much will change. The problem is that many Americans do not know the geologic reality: that the U.S. sits atop less than 3 percent of the world’s oil. So until people understand that and realize that you cannot drill what you don’t have, politicians will sell domestic drilling as an easy answer._