The 10 Greenest Presidents in U.S. History at Good Houskeeping:
Theodore Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Thomas Jefferson, Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, John Kennedy.
9 Worst Presidents:
Goerge W. Bush, Regan, Grant, Eisenhower, Harding, Hoover, Jackson, Nixon, McKinley
That's right Nixon made both lists.
What they did:
Theodore Roosevelt
Roosevelt's signing of The Newlands Act in 1902 placed the federal government in an activist role in water management and reclamation. He created the US Forest Service in 1905.
Roosevelt created 150 national forests, 18 national monuments, 5 national parks and 51 wildlife refuges.
He protected 230 million acres of Americas wildlands often ignoring congress and demands from railroad, oil and timber bigwigs.
Lyndon Johnson
President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act, establishing the National Wilderness Preservation System and provisions for wilderness use and protection. 1968 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, establishing the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, which protects designated rivers as either wild, scenic, or recreational.
Richard Nixon
Established the EPA in 1970. In his letter to congress at the time he said:
"Our national government today is not structured to make a coordinated attack on the pollutants which debase the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land that grows our food. Indeed, the present governmental structure for dealing with environmental pollution often defies effective and concerted action. Despite its complexity, for pollution control purposes the environment must be perceived as a single, interrelated system. Present assignments of departmental responsibilities do not reflect this interrelatedness."

During his Presidency he signed several eco-acts including the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Ocean Dumping Act.

Jimmy Carter
President Jimmy Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). The Act expanded the Arctic Range to approximately 18 million acres, renamed it the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, designated eight million acres as Wilderness, and designated three rivers as Wild.
Barack Obama ?
According to the article it is too early to judge Obama's full environmental record, but so far his administration has successfully rolled back some Bush-era challenges (such as the Global Gag Rule on family planning aid and an attempted sell-off of "roadless" wilderness areas). Obama's EPA under Lisa Jackson has returned to the business of fining polluters and attempting to address global warming.

The Center for Biological Diversity gave Obama a grade of C- for the first half of his term, citing the administration's failure to ban lead ammunition and fishing tackle and for only listing eight new endangered species in the lower 48.

The Best and Worst Green Presidents at the Autonomie Project lists the 4 worst presidents.
Ulysses S. Grant
Although Grant was able to make Yellowstone the first National Park, he has huge black mark on his record. This mark is the 1872 Mining Law, which changed how mining worked. With this law large scale and destructive mining begun on public land with no payback to the taxpayer. This Law is still being fought by Environmentalists today and causes many battles.
Although it was probably not his intention the creation of the Interstate Highway System increased sprawl and moved funding away from mass transit and toward the car culture.

However the Secretary of Interior in the Eisenhower administration signed a Public Land Order establishing the 8.9 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Range.
Ronald Regan
Although it has been pointed out that Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) had been pretty solid on the environment as governor of California, he seemed to take a turn for the worse once he got to the White House.
More than any other Administration in history, Reagan gave leases to oil, coal, and gas development on National lands. Reagan appointed anti-environmental leaders to head the EPA and Department of the Interior which caused such laws as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act to be rolled back. He also scaled back Carter's CAFE standards for gas mileage and slashed funding for alternative energy. Furthermore, he once famously or infamously said "trees cause more pollution than automobiles do."
His interior secretary, James Watt, was demonized sometimes unfairly. He once said:
"I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns. Whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations."
George W. Bush
This probably comes as no surprise to anyone: that Bush makes this list. It is well known at this point that the Bush administration is known for their denial of Global Warming and their refusal to fund alternative energy. Bush has huge ties to the Oil Industry and under his terms, they reaped the highest income ever. On top of this he scaled back laws protecting air and water pollution, opened the Arctic Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for drilling, pushed logging, and promoted mountain top coal mining. Possibly the worst impact he had was on his denial of Climate Change and the setbacks he caused to the country.

Theodore Roosevelt also used the 1906 Antiquities Act to extend federal control over the West's scenic wonders. Although the law had been enacted to protect Native American artifacts and relics, which were being systematically looted from archeological sites, Roosevelt expanded its use to preserve historic landmarks.

Although the Antiquities Act remained on the books, since 1950 presidents have been more cautious in creating national monuments. Generally, the chief executive has consulted the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee prior to issuing the proclamation. Unsanctioned monuments could go unfunded by Congress. Thus, the need for cooperation in achieving conservation goals combined with the "power of the purse" has meant a general reluctance to use the full power of the Antiquities Act in the manner of either Roosevelt.

One is quick to add, however, that the Antiquities Act was not discarded. It remained (and remains) the law, and Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter have all proclaimed monuments, usually with the prior approval of Congress, but sometimes in defiance of it.


The Best and Worst Green Presidents
The 10 Greenest Presidents in U.S. History

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last updated 9 June 2014