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Newt Gingrich on Environment

Former Republican Representative (GA-6) and Speaker of the House


EPA should not regulate dust storms in Iowa

Q: What exactly is an environmental solutions agency? You want to disband the EPA and set up something that looks like the EPA?

GINGRICH: If you look at the EPA's record, it is increasingly radical, it's increasingly imperious, it doesn't cooperate, it doesn't collaborate, and it doesn't take into account economics. In Iowa they had a dust regulation under way because they control particulate matter. They were worried that the plowing of a cornfield would lead dust to go to another farmer's cornfield, and they were planning to issue a regulation. In Arizona, they suggested that maybe if they watered down the earth, they wouldn't have these dust storms. And people said to them, "You know, the reason it's called a desert is there's no water." Now, this is an agency out of touch with reality, which I believe is incorrigible, and you need a new agency that is practical, has common sense, uses economic factors, and in the case of pollution actually incentivizes change, doesn't just punish it.

Source: Meet the Press 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 8, 2012

Critical Katrina recovery by energetic church volunteers

Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast with unprecedented ferocity. In Mississippi ordinary citizens and civic groups met that challenge head-on. Disaster victims were assisted by nearly a million volunteers who donated 10 million man-hours (worth $143 million in labor costs) and $400 million in financial assistance. From Catholic Charities USA, the Salvation Army, and the Red Cross to small church congregations, Americans came together to help those in need. The civic activism in the Gulf Coast reflect the kind of energetic civil society that the Founders believed was a critical component of early American civilization. The Founders focused on the right of individuals to live their lives as they see fit, including through associations. A brief history of American civil society will show how our dedication to neighbor, community, and country became a hallmark of American Exceptionalism.
Source: A Nation Like No Other, by Newt Gingrich, p.116-117 , Jun 13, 2011

Replace EPA with new Environmental Solutions Agency

I don't think the EPA bureaucrats, who are dedicated to a Washington centered, top down, bureaucratic control by litigation and regulation, are going learn a new dance, a new approach, and a new model. This is double true because Obama wants to use EPA to control carbon, so he can control all of the non-health economy.

Now a new Environmental Solutions Agency, I believe, would do a better job of both protecting the environment and the economy. The principles are straightforward, localism when possible. I believe that incentives, innovators, and entrepreneurs will solve environmental problems, and improve the environment better than the bureaucrats, regulators and litigators.

The new Environmental Solutions Agency should see communities, states, and industries as partners, not adversaries in solving problems when one approaches. The Environmental Solutions Agency should look for new science, new technologies, and new approaches to get more energy, more jobs, and a better environment simultaneously.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 11, 2011

Correct use of DDT doesn't harm humans nor environment

The origins of today's radical environmental movement provide a disturbing example That movement launched with a successful effort in the 1960s to effectively ban the insecticide DDT worldwide. This led to the reemergence of malaria in Africa, which has caused 1-2 million preventable deaths a year, according to the American Council on Science and Health. The crusade against DDT contradicts overwhelming evidence that the correct use of the chemical does not harm humans or the environment.
Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p.122 , May 17, 2010

Tragic Kelo case confiscated private property

The Founding Fathers counted private property among the unalienable rights endowed by our Creator.

Rejecting the sanctity of private property, the secular-socialist model has no problem with a city council or Washington bureaucrat taking your property and giving it to someone else. It has presided over a steady decline in private property rights over the last generation, highlighted by the tragic "Kelo vs. City of New London" case, in which the Supreme Court unconsciously ruled that private property can be confiscated from individuals and given to private developers if, in the judgment of local, state, or federal bureaucrats, doing so would aid economic growth and raise tax revenues.

Reasserting private property right will be deeply resisted by every local and federal bureaucrat and every judge who likes having the power to use your property to enrich someone else. And it will be opposed by every environmental group eager to tell you what you can and cannot do with your own property.

Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p. 22 , May 17, 2010

Green conservatism: market-oriented, incentive-led

More and more people around the world are discovering "green conservatism," a new pathway to environmental stewardship and a compelling conservative alternative to the high-tax, big-bureaucracy, job-killing, and government-centralizing environmentalism of the Left.

Green conservatives are political active in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom among other nations. When we first applied the term in U.S. politics, we defined green conservatism as: "An optimistic, positive, science and technology-based, entrepreneurial, market-oriented, incentive-led, conservative environmentalism that creates more solutions faster and that will result in more biodiversity with less pollution and a safer planet."

Entrepreneurial environmentalists are the new agents of change on the frontlines of a creative environmental movement. Government's role, rather than to dictate it, is to incentivize.

Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p.233-234 , May 17, 2010

Katrina's collapse of New Orleans was avoidable

As much as any one things, it was the government's failure to respond to the catastrophe of Katrina that made me determined to launch American Solutions and to insist on a bipartisan national movement to get America back on track. Here are the unspoken--and apparently unspeakable--facts about the disaster in New Orleans.
Source: Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p. 44-45 , Dec 18, 2007

Boston's Big Dig was a classic pork barrel project

Compare success stories in saving time and money with one of the most disastrous public infrastructure projects in modern America" Boston's Big Dig.

The Big Dig highway project was the most expansive such project in U.S history. The initial price tag was $2.6 billion (in 1982 dollars), and it was supposed to be completed in seven years. From the start, it was plagued by leaks, falling debris, delays, and other problems linked to faulty construction. On July 10, 2006, a woman was killed by falling concrete in a connector tunnel. In 2008, the "Boston Globe" reported that the Big Dig's total cost would hit an astounding $22 billion and will not be paid off until 2038.

That sounds disastrous--and it is. The Big Dig was a classic pork barrel project, with weak oversight, no incentives for achievement, and no innovation in management. But that's the way government programs usually work. That's why we need real change for a smarter, more efficient government.

Source: Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p.185-186 , Dec 18, 2007

Reject apocalyptic warnings; they only lead to higher taxes

In addition to favoring science and innovation over red tape and litigation, we must reject an approach to the environment that relies on apocalyptic warnings.

In every instance the danger was apocalyptic, science and technology were major threats, and the free market was hazardous. Big government, big regulation, centralized bureaucratic controls, and higher taxes were the solution.

Former Vice President Al Gore wrote in his 1992 book "Earth in the Balance", "We have tilted so far toward individual rights and so far away from any sense of obligation that it is now difficult to muster an adequate defense of any rights vested in the community at large or the nation--much less rights properly vested in all humankind or in posterity."

The danger here is that private property rights & individual liberty could be taken away in favor of some collectivist & non-democratic elite's interpretation of what is needed. The level of power that this would give to international bureaucrats is almost beyond belief.

Source: Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p.197-198 , Dec 18, 2007

Greatest enviro dangers are poverty & command bureaucracy

The greatest dangers to biodiversity on the planet today are poor people cutting down tropical forests for money and killing endangered species for meat. Wealthy people can afford to protect the forests and protect endangered species. The greatest areas of pollution and toxic wastes on the planet today are the byproducts of the Soviet Empire and a centralized command bureaucracy that was willing to kill the environment to reach production quotas.
Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org, “Issues” , Sep 1, 2007

Combine healthy environment and a healthy economy

It is possible to have a healthy environment & a healthy economy. It is possible to build incentives for a cleaner future. It is possible to have biodiversity & wealthy human beings on the same planet. And it is possible to have free markets, scientific and technological advances, and an even more positive environmental outcome. There is every reason to be optimistic that if we develop smart environmental and biodiversity policies our children & grandchildren will experience an even more pleasant world.
Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org , Dec 1, 2006

Early 1980s: co-sponsored Endangered Species Act

In the early 1980s, Gingrich took some positions that separated him from most of the right wing. He voted for the Alaska Lands Act. He cosponsored the Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Air Act. Most of his early supporters from the environmental movement long ago gave up on him, but among Republicans, he remains a bona fide conservationist. Newt argues that he has been true to his original beliefs, while the "greens" have moved in a radical direction, toward the taking of private property without adequate compensation.

Gingrich made plain in a recent interview: "We're going to try to write [an Endangered Species Act] that's economically rational and that protects species. The problem now is that the environmental movement is dominated by lawyers and bureaucrats, and it's a front for anti-free-enterprisers who use protecting species as a device to stop development. The question is, do you spend $300 million to protect one species or do you spend that money to protect 30 species?"

Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p.102 , Jun 1, 1995

Regulating 15 more contaminants under Clean Water Act.

Gingrich co-sponsored regulating 15 more contaminants under Clean Water Act

Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to publish a proposed list of at least 15 contaminants that may occur in public water systems and that are not currently subject to EPA regulation. Provides for proposed lists of at least 12 additional contaminants every four years. (Current law requires EPA to regulate 25 contaminants every three years.) Bases the determination to regulate a contaminant on findings that:

  1. the contaminant is known to occur in public water systems;
  2. the contaminant occurs in concentrations which may have adverse health effects; and
  3. regulation of the contaminant presents an opportunity to reduce health risks.
Source: Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments (H.R.3392) 93-H3392 on Oct 27, 1993

Other candidates on Environment: Newt Gingrich on other issues:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
GOP Candidates:
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Virgil Goode(C)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L)
Gov.Buddy Roemer(AE)
Jill Stein(G)
C.G.David Walker(AE)

GOP Withdrawals:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
Herman Cain(GA)
Gov.Chris Cristie(NJ)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Rep.Thaddeus McCotter(MI)
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Page last updated: May 31, 2012