Pombo Back On Green Hit List

Richard Pombo announced last month that he is back in the political game, and he’s already reclaimed his post at the most-hated candidate for environmental groups.

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) on Monday named Pombo as the third member of their Dirty Dozen, an annual listing of electoral candidates they hope to defeat. Pombo joins Democratic senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Republican congressman Steve Pearce of New Mexico on the list. “Few candidates deserve a spot on the Dirty Dozen more than Richard Pombo because he will side with Big Oil over a cleaner, more secure future for California every chance he gets,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski in a statement. “Californians want new clean energy jobs not more industry bailouts.”

Over his seven terms in office, Pombo took $700,000 in campaign money from Big Oil and other energy interests, and $220,000 from lobbyists, earning just a 7 percent lifetime voting score on environmental issues from LCV. He lost his reelection bid in 2006 to Democrat Jerry McNerney, a wind energy consultant and environmental favorite. (More on Pombo from the Mother Jones archives here, here, here and here.)

Shunned in his home district, he’s now running in the neighboring district, which, as LCV points out, includes Yosemite National Park. This merits noting, as one of Pombo’s signature anti-environmental moves as a congressman was a proposal to sell off 15 national parks to private companies to generate revenue.


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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.