05/21/2012 06:48 pm ET Updated Jul 21, 2012

Bob Dold Keeping Close Eye on Environmental Votes, If Not the Environment

Yesterday, the Lake County News-Sun chose to gush over Bob Dold as an environmentalist because he went up 40 feet in a bucket lift while touring Illinois Beach State Park and Spring Bluff Forest Preserve. They went on to report that he was there because he was on his way to (or from) a groundbreaking ceremony for a Macy's in Gurnee Mills. Apparently, that was enough to give him both environmental and bipartisan creds for the News-Sun.

To see if the News-Sun is even close, let's take a look at Dold's environmental votes.

Back in April 2011, there was the Energy Tax Prevention Act (H.R. 910). It wasn't exactly a tax prevention provision. It really stopped the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas. Dold voted yes. He voted to take greenhouse gases out of the definition of a pollutant, subject to regulation by the EPA. Most Democrats voted against this bill, so Dold gets no bipartisan kudos here either.

Then came the Air Quality Impact of Oil Drilling (H.R. 2021). This bill limited the area in which an agency could measure impact of oil drilling to the immediate shoreline. Dold liked this bill too.

Dold voted to repeal emissions standards for cement manufacturing plants in H.R. 2681. Then he voted to strip the EPA's power to regulate the disposal of coal combustion waste and leave it to the states (H.R. 2273). Divide and conquer on pollution from coal combustion. Then he agreed with his party that farm dust is not a particulate worthy of EPA regulation (H.R. 1633). The odd thing about the farm dust bill is that there was no existing or pending EPA regulation of farm dust. The other odd thing about the farm dust bill is that it didn't free up farm dust, but addressed "nuisance dust" which really has more to do with deregulating open pit and asbestos mines. Now that some polluting private industries were freed up from regulation under the guise of helping farmers, Dold helped his party divert water from fish, wildlife and habitat restoration efforts to private contractors working on the Central Valley Project (H.R. 1837). The Central Valley Project grows cities and intense irrigation required farming in areas of California where there isn't enough water to sustain them. The project has been very controversial and is said to have damaged natural river environments, Native American tribal lands and gutted the salmon population. But, no one worried because the bill Dold favored also repeals legislation that required the Project to replace the dead salmon.

Then, Dold capped off his environmental votes with a vote in favor of the Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline with no plan on how to limit or deal with the environmental destruction.

So, Bob Dold managed to vote against the environment seven (7) times in 2011 and 2012 and voted with his party 7 out of 11 times on the environment, but going up on a bucked lift impressed the Lake County News-Sun.