August 27, 2018 – With California battling some of the largest wildfires in the state’s history, Rep. Mimi Walters’ reelection bid is feeling the heat. The vulnerable CA-45 Republican with a failing 4% environmental voting record joined a letter acknowledging that the wildfires are “being fueled by climate change” — and asking how California plans to confront climate change impacts.
But you’ll need more than a grain of salt to believe Walters is serious about fighting climate change. Walters has voted AGAINST nearly every single attempt to address the climate crisis, putting her at odds with voters in her district who are feeling its devastation firsthand.
As Michael Hiltzik writes for the LA Times, Walters has one of the worst environmental records in Congress:
Although Walters is a member of the bipartisan climate solutions caucus in Congress, she’s something of a latecomer — the caucus was established in 2016 and she didn’t join until last fall. Other than that, Walters’ legislative record on climate change is abysmal. According to the League of Conservation Voters’ scorecard, in 2017, she voted to block an Obama-era rule requiring that the social cost of carbon be factored into reviews of major projects and in favor of delaying an ozone clean-air standard. She has advocated expanding oil drilling offshore and in Alaska, and has voted to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and hamstring its scientific reviews.
Last year, she was a co-sponsor of the “Stopping EPA Overreach Act,” which stated that nothing in five major federal environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Endangered Species Act, “authorizes or requires the regulation of climate change or global warming.”
If Walters is really trying to distinguish herself from the Republican Party’s appalling record on climate change, she has a steep hill to climb.
Just last month, Walters voted anti-climate on three key votes — an extreme fossil fuel-backed climate denial resolution, an attempt to prohibit the EPA from putting limits on methane pollution, and an amendment requiring the government to ignore the costs of climate change. She also voted to block the Clean Power Plan and has been silent on Trump’s replacement, which the EPA admits could result in 1,400 more premature deaths each year.
Mimi Walters’ attempt to fool voters into thinking she supports climate action is laughable. Californians are suffering from some of the worst fires the state has ever seen — intensified by climate change — and Walters has waited until this crisis to join a letter on climate action, weeks after voting for an extreme climate-denial resolution that would block efforts to fight climate change. Walters should respect her constituents enough to be honest with them about her real record.
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