Rep. Richard Pombo is a Rep. no more.

We bring you a special Grist tribute to the man who dreamt at night of shoving oil drills down the throats of endangered species.

[Tune to “The Way We Were” rises in background …]

Ah, Dick. Remember when you tried to sell off drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to fund transportation pork? That was insane funny. You always did have a sense of humor.

Who could forget your Ahabian quest to gut the Endangered Species Act? You were like the bad guy from a cheap horror movie, springing to life again and again. Points for persistence!

Then there was the time you put out a report saying mercury’s not really so bad for you after all. Again, batshit insane completely hilarious. You cracked us up, Dick.

You also found your Will to Drill unduly restrained by NEPA, the nation’s cornerstone environmental law, so you tried to gut that too. That was when you convened those Potemkin, hand-picked “task forces” — no greens allowed! Good times, good times.

Speaking of drilling: when you couldn’t get your tumescent drill into the Arctic Refuge, you turned to the nation’s sloppy seconds — offshore coastal areas. You were like some horny middle-aged businessman, drunk in a bar on a business trip — you just couldn’t keep your hands to yourself.

We always had to keep an eye on you, you scamp! Remember when you snuck in that provision altering some obscure mining provision? Oopsie — there go tens of millions of acres of public lands!

From the beginning, you never really believed that anyone would seriously challenge you for your seat in the House. A good ol’ boy like you? Look at those boots! Why, it was unthinkable. You laughed it off, and barely deigned to campaign or speak to the press for the past year. Even when Jerry McNerney — a guy you thought you could steamroll without breaking a sweat — started nipping at your heels, you refused to engage. Woops.

You embodied the cozy corruption, utter fealty to big industry, and mendacious faux conservatism of the 109th Congress. And now? Now you’re gone.

Bye, Dick. You won’t be missed.