Utah Republican Jim Hansen, who has served 11 terms in the U.S. House, most recently as chair of the Resources Committee, announced yesterday that he will not seek reelection this year. The announcement came as a surprise to even some of his closest staff members — and a welcome one to environmentalists. Hansen started off light green, proposing a recycling measure while serving as a state legislator and then backing a wilderness bill in the House that protected some 700,000 acres of Utah forest. In an abrupt about-face, however, Hansen then launched into nearly two decades of relentless anti-environmental campaigning, stonewalling in the face of petitions to set aside millions of acres of Utah wilderness and derisively referring to endangered species as “trash fish” and “slimy slugs.”
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