Record editorial: On climate change, Rob Bishop chooses cheap talk over serious action
Rob Bishop has said this term will be his last in Congress.
Many Summit County residents and those who believe America must act aggressively on climate change will not mourn the day he walks out of the Capitol. Bishop has always been more concerned with kowtowing to the oil and gas industry than protecting the environment. And that apparently has not changed since his announcement that he won’t be waging another congressional campaign.
Earlier this month, for instance, he sent a letter to the Democratic chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee — which Bishop led when Republicans were in power — decrying the committee’s efforts to prioritize climate change, according to Politico. The correspondence illustrates his naive, or perhaps disingenuous, stance that environmental activists and Democrats are overstating the immediate threat climate change presents.
“The important question facing the Committee is not whether we are all going to die in 12 years if we continue to eat hamburgers. We won’t,” Bishop told the chairman, according to Politico. “We should be pursuing practical ways — within our jurisdiction — to reduce pollution and promise a healthier environment without decimating American families’ checkbooks.”
Bishop was back at it a few weeks later, addressing Democrats’ call for a Green New Deal, a proposal of policies designed to stimulate the economy while combating climate change. He stated that the ideas in the proposal are “tantamount to genocide.” Disregarding the blatant offensiveness of the comparison, it further makes clear that he’s content to lob cheap political volleys in lieu of taking climate science seriously and working with Democrats to find policy solutions commensurate with the crisis.
In doing so, Bishop is once again failing his constituents. That’s all too predictable to those familiar with his record. In recent years, of course, he was a leading voice fighting against public lands and lobbying for a massive reduction of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.
But it would have been a welcome development if Bishop, approaching the end of his congressional career — barring a change of heart — resolved to leave on a high note by rolling up his sleeves and making a good-faith effort to address climate change.
Alas, that was never going to happen. And constituents hopeful for such an about face are destined to keep on waiting.
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