Pence’s Environmental Record

Pence is strongly anti-environmental — but there’s one notable recent deviation.

In some ways, Mike Pence is just what you’d expect of the GOP vice-presidential candidate.  He’s said that the climate change is a myth, opposed the Clean Power Plan,defended fossil fuels, and allowed a bill to end Indiana’s energy efficiency program to become law. In Congress, he voted to allow destruction of critical habitat for endangered species, expand offshore drilling, and so forth.  As I said, just what you’d expect.

But there’s at least one deviation from the reflexive opposition to environmental protection common among conservatives.  In March, he vetoed a bill that limited the state’s ability to go beyond federal environmental requirements.  The bill would have required that any such regulation be reported to the state legislature and that implementation would be delayed until after the end of the next session.  After referring to the Flint water crisis, Pence said:

At a time when we must do all that we can to enhance public trust in the agencies charged with protecting our environment, this bill moves in the wrong direction and will therefore receive my veto.  With this veto, Hoosiers can be assured that we will continue to have the necessary discretion and flexibility to create Indiana solutions at the state level and act in a timely way to protect our drinking water.

Pence also signed a bill to strengthen the state’s program for acquiring and protecting environmentally sensitive lands.  This law doesn’t seem to have been controversial, but I’m sure that there are many Tea Party members who would object on principle.

It may not seem like much to say that a conservative Republican has failed to be 100% consistent in opposing environmental protection.  We’re at a point, however, where even small deviations from anti-regulatory orthodoxy are beginning to seem notable.


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Reader Comments

2 Replies to “Pence’s Environmental Record”

  1. Dear Dan,
    Governor Pence has formed a strong partnership with Donald Trump and he promises to be a great Vice President (and possibly next President). The encouraging prospect of a Republican administration for the next 16 years thrills us and we invite others to share our joy.

    Average ordinary Democrat voters are not overly concerned about climate change and fossil fuels. Liberal Democrats are much more devoted to gay marriage, destroying Judaeo-Christian morality, and advancing sexual freedom. Gay rights is the primary reason for opposition to Pence, not environmental issues.

  2. Just heard Governor Pence speak at the RNC. He is a Christian, a conservative and Republican, in that order. He did not mention the climate. Great speech, lots of hope and enthusiasm. After listening to Pence it seems shameful to speak of Hillary. Why would anyone choose that wicked woman instead of the honest and capable team of Trump – Pence?
    Hurry November, let’s get rid of her.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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