Republicans rarely miss a chance to go out of their way to stick it to the hippies and their twee environmental issues when they take power. When Ronald Reagan became president, for example, he stripped off the modest cluster of solar panels Jimmy Carter had installed on the White House roof, just to make the point that America shouldn't see its long addiction to hydrocarbons as something worth changing. And now, as part of the Tea Party Revolution, House Republicans are getting rid of the biodegradable utensils and food and drink containers that Nancy Pelosi introduced in the House cafeteria, in favor of the more traditional and evil styrofoam.

Republicans are phasing out Pelosi's "Green the Capitol" initiative that she introduced after assuming the speakership in 2007. It wasn't much, and it obviously didn't inspire Capitol Hill to move much further on a comprehensive alternative/renewable energy plan. But maybe the introduction of biodegradable food packaging, despite the occasional limp fork, wasn't that much of an inconvenience? Here's how it worked, as explained by the Guardian's environmental reporter:

Items deemed compostable waste, such as coffee cups, were sent to a pulper in a lower basement, which squeezed out all the liquid before dispatching the material by truck to a commercial composting site in the suburbs of Washington DC.

There, the waste was mixed with soil, which eventually returned to Capitol Hill to be used as fertiliser on the grounds. Hundreds of tonnes of waste was saved from landfills yearly, Democrats said.

Republicans made the switch back to filthy synthetic crap yesterday, hoping to piss off liberals. And based on this email from a (presumably Democratic) Hill staffer to Wonkette yesterday, it worked!

To: ""
Date: Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 9:38 AM
Subject: Bullshit styrofoam in the house cafeteria

Today the House cafeteria switched all the containers back from compostable and/or recyclable containers to styrofoam as another spit in the eye. This shit can't be recycled, we are basically forced to throw Styrofoam in a landfill if we want to eat in the cafeteria.

Somehow this bothers me more than the EERE cuts.

EERE is the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office, which is obviously getting hammered in the Republicans' spending bill.

[Image of a filthy landfill via]