SAN FRANCISCO December 9, 2016 – The following is a statement from Drew Caputo, Earthjustice’s Vice President of Litigation for Lands, Oceans, and Wildlife, in response to reports of President-elect Trump’s nomination of Cathy McMorris Rodgers to head the U.S. Department of the Interior:
“Americans should be deeply concerned by the nomination of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to lead the Department of the Interior. She has a troubling track record of actively undermining our environment.
“The Secretary of the Interior is charged with stewardship of most of our nation’s public lands, including national parks and wildlife refuges. The person who fills this role sets the tone for relationships with tribal governments and bears crucial responsibility for protecting wildlife, including endangered species.
“Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers’s environmental record is frankly terrible. She has repeatedly voted against the environment and in favor of special interests who want to use public lands and resources for private gain. She has supported rollbacks to critical environmental protections for our nation’s forests, voted to undercut the president’s authority to protect public lands as national monuments in Western states, and voted against restricting taxpayer hand-outs to companies that profit from oil and gas extracted from federal public lands.
“On wildlife, McMorris Rodgers has stood in the way of species recovery. She has co-sponsored legislation to remove all federal protections for the endangered gray wolf. She is also one of the most vocal opponents of restoring the lower Snake River, long highlighted by biologists as the most promising tool for recovering endangered wild salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest.
“Her congressional voting record shows lots of evidence that McMorris Rodgers will serve the interests of corporations that seek to plunder resources from public lands, rather than acting on behalf of all Americans to safeguard our wild lands and natural treasures. President-elect Trump should retract this announcement, or the Senate should reject this nomination. If not, and if McMorris Rodgers attempts to carry out her anti-environment agenda, Earthjustice and its attorneys will see her in court.”