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Elise Stefanik

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik is one of the co-chairs of the new Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, a group of Republican lawmakers aiming to address climate change and other environmental issues. 

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik is one of the founding members of a Republican caucus that aims to address climate change and other environmental challenges. 

Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, will co-chair the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, a group named in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, a leading conservationist in his time. 

The caucus will "embrace and promote constructive efforts to address environmental problems, responsibly plan for all market factors, and base policy decisions on science and quantifiable facts," according to a news release. 

Other co-chairs include U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner and Lindsey Graham. 

"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 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." 

Stefanik has been a leader among congressional Republicans on environmental issues. In 2017, she introduced a resolution supported by nearly 20 of her GOP colleagues that acknowledged climate change is real and called for "economically viable solutions" to combat the problem. 

Her 2018 score from the League of Conservation Voters was 51%, tied for the sixth-highest among Republican members of Congress. The national environmental group's scorecard shows she cast 18 pro-environmental votes last year and she was often part of a small group of Republicans opposing House GOP bills that would weaken environmental protections. 

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Stefanik, according to her website, is also a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus, which consists of Democrats and Republicans, and co-chairs the House Invasive Species Caucus. 

Republicans have been criticized for not acknowledging climate change and failing to propose ideas for addressing the problem. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, an international agreement between more than 190 countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent global temperature increases. 

Stefanik was one of the few Republicans who criticized Trump for pulling out of the Paris Agreement. 

There are some climate changes that Republicans have embraced, including a proposed carbon tax that would require polluters, such as fossil fuel companies, to pay a fee. The carbon tax plan supported by some in the GOP would be "revenue-neutral" because dividend payments would be made to households. 

The release from the new Roosevelt Conservation Caucus says it believes "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." 

"Every American should want to protect the environment and pass our beautiful country on to the next generation better and cleaner than it was given to us," said Gardner, a Colorado Republican. 

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Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at auburnpub.com.