Ronald Reagan on Environmental Preservation

JoAnnChateau.com - Environment
Written by JoAnn Chateau

Climate-denying Republicans have near-canonized Ronald Reagan for his conservative values. But they must not remember everything about him. For instance, in Reagan’s day, environmental conservation was considered a nonpartisan issue.


“Preservation of our Environment is not a Liberal or Conservative challenge, it’s common sense.” ~ Ronald Reagan

In one accord: “Go Green!”

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • It’s a nice quote, but don’t forget that Ronald Reagan was only the publicity director for the Ronald Reagan Inc. administration. He was backed by clever people and knew his place in the company. The true powers were the executives from Bechtel (and others) and the CIA. William Casey was an evil genius. Does anyone else remember Reagan’s unapproved ad lib comment at a press conference in the early 1980s that trees were the major source of pollution? He was not an intelligent man, to say the least.

    However, I understand the point is that he at least pretended to respect nature while trump does and says as many hateful things as possible about everyone and everything and sees it as being strong. Robert Vella’s essay about his megalomaniacal behavior is right on.

  • Compared to today’s Republicans, Reagan – in hindsight – looks acceptable on environmental issues; but, in his own day, Reagan was not perceived so generously. When he won in 1980, environmentalists were justifiably concerned about his presidency; and, despite his later moderation which was designed to appease his important California delegation, Ronnie’s environmental record is mixed at best. From a 1989 NYT editorial (http://www.nytimes.com/1989/01/02/us/reagan-and-environment-to-many-a-stalemate.html):

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 1— When President Reagan took office, environmentalists feared the worst from the man who once said trees cause pollution. They expected him to dismantle environmental regulation and give away public lands and resources.

    For their part, industry and its conservative allies hoped for a new era of environmental deregulation and easier access to oil, coal and timber on Federal lands.

    Eight years later, people on both sides of the argument say the environmental legacy of the Reagan era is a stalemate: that the Administration left many serious problems unaddressed and neither revolutionized environmental regulation nor transferred large amounts of public resources to private industry.

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