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Scholars Day: April 9, 2014

Reagan, His Policies and the Environment: An Analysis of Reagan as an “Environmentalist”

Ronald Reagan often boasted of a positive history regarding environmental policies, achievements of environmental protection, and being an environmentalist himself; but should we express any doubts concerning the veracity of these claims? This topic deserves attention not only to help sort out Reagan’s fascinating and complex ideologies, but because modern members of the Republican Party continue to attempt to base their policies off of Reagan’s philosophies, and modern Republican groups such as ConservAmerica choose to use Reagan as a central figure in their fight for stronger stances toward the environment. This paper examines these claims by analyzing a number of sources --political speeches, debates, scholarly articles, newspaper articles, and so on—regarding Reagan’s environmental and energy policies and juxtaposing Reagan's energy policies with those of his predecessor, Jimmy Carter. In short, the paper argues that Reagan was not an environmentalist, but rather far more open to hostility towards the environment.

Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenter: Alex Indovina (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: History
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 9:30 am Session I