Trump Tabs Another Climate Denier, This Time for Interior

Climate Denier 12 11Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015.
Credit: Gage Skidmore/flickr

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a sixth-term Republican from Washington State who is a climate change denier and an ardent opponent of regulations for greenhouse gas emissions, has been nominated by President-elect Donald Trump for Secretary of Interior.

If McMorris Rodgers is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she would govern the management of more than 500 million acres of federal public lands, including more than 400 national parks.

Perhaps most critically, she would oversee the development of many of America’s fossil fuels and renewables resources, including all of its offshore oil, gas and wind development. Federal land is the source of more than 20 percent of all the oil and gas and 40 percent of the coal produced in the U.S.

McMorris Rodgers would have the power to reverse Obama administration efforts to protect federally managed waters from oil and gas development as well as end the research into how coal mining affects the climate. Earlier this year, the Obama administration placed a three-year moratorium on federal coal leasing, and closed the entire East Coast and parts of the Arctic Ocean to offshore oil drilling.   

The land the Interior Department manages stores atmospheric carbon in trees and tree roots; protects biological diversity in wilderness areas, forests and national parks; and provides water for millions of people, mainly in the West.

McMorris Rodgers would also have wide-ranging influence over how the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey communicate to the public about global warming, potentially troubling in light of her denial of climate change and climate science.

“Scientific reports are inconclusive at best on human culpability of global warming,” McMorris Rodgers falsely told the Spokane, Wash., Spokesman-Review newspaper in 2012. “Regardless of which theory proves correct, 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. I oppose ‘cap and trade’ and

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