Once again, the League of Conservation Voters has endorsed West Michigan Representative Vern Ehlers. Ehlers, a Republican, has received the endorsement of the group numerous times. According to the environmental organization:
“Rep. Vern Ehlers has a strong conservation record. As the lead Republican co-sponsor of the Clean Water Restoration Act, Ehlers fought to prevent pollution and invasive species from contaminating the Great Lakes. He recognizes the threat of global warming and has voted to expand the use of wind, solar, biomass, and hydro power. Ehlers sees efficiency improvements in buildings as a cheap and long-lasting way to reduce greenhouse gases and recognizes the potential of renewable energy to create green jobs in Michigan.”
However, while Representative Ehlers often has the reputation in West Michigan as an “environmentalist,” his actual record is more ambiguous. In an article titled “Ehlers and the Environment,” Mediamouse.org pointed out that Ehlers’ ratings from environmental groups are often in the middle. Similarly, his votes in support of domestic conservation are partially contradicted by his support for neoliberal trade agreements with minimal environmental protections, as well as his support of the environmentally destructive Iraq War. Similarly, he has also supported positions rejected by much of the environmental movement including nuclear energy and President George W. Bush’s Healthy Forests Act–which was largely seen as a giveaway to corporate logging interests.