WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, will co-lead a new caucus formed by Republicans concerned about environmental issues.
The Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, named for Republican President Teddy Roosevelt, an early conservationist and originator of the National Park Service, will focus on promoting "constructive efforts to address environmental problems, responsibly plan for all market factors, and base policy decisions on science and quantifiable facts," the group said in an announcement.
The caucus, which includes both senators and members of the House, contends that development and use of advanced technology can both spur economic development and improve the environment. "We believe we must use our tradition of American ingenuity, innovation and exceptionalism to create and support economically viable and broadly supported solutions that improve our environment," caucus members said.
Stefanik's 21st Congressional District includes the Adirondacks, and she has grown more outspoken on environmental issues since she was elected to Congress in 2014.
“The American spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation has powered our nation’s economic development, while advancing our capabilities to ensure wise stewardship of our natural resources,” Stefanik said in a released statement. “As new challenges emerge, it is incumbent on our generation to think boldly and foster the next wave of solutions to protect and improve our environment. I’m looking forward to doing this important work with my colleagues to address environmental issues through market-oriented solutions.”
The caucus includes Sens. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, Steve Daines of Montana, Rob Portman of Ohio, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Cory Gardner of Colorado.
The caucus lists public land access, water quality and ocean pollution among its priorities.
Critics have said the Republican Party has done little to put forward its own ideas about how to deal with climate change and other environmental issues.