Cathy McMorris Rodgers anti-conservation record is disturbing

Dec 9, 2016

U.S. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers is expected to be nominated by President-elect Trump as Secretary of the Interior.

Gage Skidmore, flickr.
Speculation continues that Washington State U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will be tapped for Interior.

UPDATE: Rep. Ryan Zinke has reportedly been offered the Department of the Interior job.

Unfortunately, she has voted for measures that would prevent taxpayers from receiving a fair price for resources mined on public lands, prioritized drilling public lands over recreational uses, and allowed companies to bypass certain Clean Air Act provisions for offshore drilling. It’s not all bad news, she has supported renewable energy and cosponsored legislation to promote responsible siting of wind and solar on public lands, but the balance sheet isn’t good. Here’s a sampling of the rest of her record.

Anti-Environmental Votes Cast by McMorris Rodgers

McMorris Rodgers has a lifetime score of 4% pro-environmental votes according to the League of Conservation Voters, with a score of 0% for 2015, the most recent year with data available. During her decade in Congress, the LCV categorized 69 roll call votes as relating to lands and forests, with McMorris Rodgers voting “pro-environment” only three times. [1]

  • Voted in 2015 to undercut the president’s authority under the Antiquities Act to protect public lands as national monuments in seven western states.[2]
  • Voted in 2015 for measure that would block any efforts to raise the royalty rates on oil and gas produced on onshore federal public lands.[3]
  • Voted in 2014 for H.R. 4899, the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act, which would prioritize drilling on our public lands and waters over other activities such as hiking, hunting, and fishing.[4]
  • Voted for H.R. 3590, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2013, which contains harmful measures undermining the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Wilderness Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The bill includes language that could allow the use of motorized vehicles, road construction, and other forms of development within protected wilderness areas, and it blocks input from public stakeholders in National Wildlife Refuge management decisions.[5]
  • Voted in 2012 for H.R. 6223, which cut funding for conservation programs to pay for livestock disaster assistance.[6]
  • Voted in 2012 for H.R. 2578, the so-called Conservation and Economic Growth Act, a sweeping assault on America's lands and wildlife that would block or roll back conservation laws on federal lands, gut environmental review, and privatize public lands.[7]
  • Voted for H.R. 2021, the so-called Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011, which would allow oil companies to sidestep critical Clean Air Act protections and avoid common-sense air pollution limits on their offshore drilling operations.[8]
  • Voted for amendment to H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, to cut by 90% the bill's already minimal allocation for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).[9]
  • Voted to authorize offshore drilling, including in the Arctic in 2006.[10]
  • Voted in 2005 for H.R. 4242, the Budget Reconciliation Bill that contained a controversial provision that would have fundamentally rewritten national mining policy by ending a decade-long Congressional ban on the sale of public lands to mining companies. These lands include Bureau of Land Management tracts and certain areas within national parks and forests.[11]

McMorris Rodgers Claimed that Science is Inconclusive on the Impact of Humans on Global Warming.

In 2012, McMorris Rodgers told the Spokesman-Review that “Scientific reports are inconclusive at best on human culpability for global warming.” McMorris Rodgers went on to say that whether or not humans are the cause for global warming, “the goal is the same – to reduce carbon emissions, we need innovation in the private sector; not excessive government regulation to stifle some industries while rewarding others.”[12]

In a 2012 Speech, Mcmorris Rodgers Stated That By Removing Lands From Private Ownership, The [Federal] Government Stifles Locally-Driven Development And Makes Rural Communities More Dependent On Washington, DC

In her 2012 keynote speech at the Society of American Foresters National Convention, McMorris Rodgers stated “It is no coincidence that many of the counties with the highest unemployment rates in the country are those which are surrounded by federal forests.” McMorris’s speech advocated for return of national forests to local, private ownership saying “By removing lands from private ownership – and thus, from the local municipal tax rolls – the government stifles locally-driven development and makes rural communities more dependent on Washington, DC.”[13]

McMorris Rodgers Co-Sponsored Bill to Prohibit the EPA from Regulating Greenhouse Gases

McMorris Rodgers co-sponsored the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, a bill that would have “prohibit[ed] the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change.”[14] The White House stated that the bill would have halted “the Environmental Protection Agency’s common-sense steps under the Clean Air Act to protect Americans from harmful pollution.”[15]


This story is breaking. We’ll have more to say about this in the hours ahead.

[1] League of Conservation Voters, accessed 12/6/2016.

[2] League of Conservation Voters, accessed 12/6/2016.

[3] League of Conservation Voters, accessed 12/6/2016.

[4] League of Conservation Voters, accessed 12/6/2016.

[5] League of Conservation Voters, accessed 12/6/2016.

[6] League of Conservation Voters, accessed 12/6/2016.

[7] League of Conservation Voters accessed 12/6/2016.

[8] League of Conservation Voters, accessed 12/6/2016.

[9] League of Conservation Voters, accessed 12/6/2016.

[10] League of Conservation Voters, accessed 12/6/2016.

[11] League of Conservation Voters, accessed 12/6/2016.

[12] The Spokesman-Review, 7/15/2012.

[13], Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Press Release, 8/25/2012.

[14], accessed 12/6/2016.

[15] New York Times, 4/5/2011.