Dec. 9, 2016
Betraying His Voters, Trump’s Interior Pick Backs Dirty Energy and Big Polluters
Statement of David Arkush, Managing Director, Public Citizen’s Climate Program
By picking U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) to head the U.S. Department of the Interior, President-elect Donald Trump again is choosing to enrich his corporate cronies at the expense of the country.
McMorris Rodgers appears to have avoided commenting on the issue, but her record shows that she will set the U.S. on a collision course with catastrophic climate change. She has supported every form of power that’s dirty, expensive and harmful to humans. With the apparent exception of hydropower, which is a major power source in her home state and suffers from significant ecological problems, she has opposed energy from sources that are clean, inexpensive and popular with the American people.
This pick, like that of Scott Pruitt, puts Trump directly at odds with what the American people want. Seventy percent of Americans are concerned about climate change, and more than 70 percent of Americans support President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. In addition, 75 percent of Trump’s own supporters want to speed up the deployment of clean energy.
At a town hall last May, McMorris Rodgers dodged a pointed question about the dangers of climate change by saying she is “still learning.” If McMorris Rodgers is still learning, then she should go back to school – not run a federal agency that plays a major role in fossil-fuel extraction. Americans need government officials who accept the scientific consensus about grave threats to the country.