Skip to main content

Rep. Henry Waxman
The 112th Congress was labeled two years ago the most anti-environment in the history of the House of Representatives by Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California and then-Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts. But a new report from Waxman's office has found that the 113th Congress may turn out to be worse if its second half matches its first.
In 2013, the Republican-led House voted for the anti-environment position 109 times. House Republicans voted to block actions to improve air quality and cut carbon pollution; to expedite oil and gas drilling off America’s coasts and on onshore federal lands; to slash funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs; to block federal efforts to improve water quality; and to allow more logging and mining on federal lands with limited environmental review.
Unfortunately, on at least one issue on that list, oil and gas drilling, the White House has—to state it generously—been far from exemplary. But unlike the Obama administration, House Republicans have zero to boast about on the eco-protection side of their ledger. Their attack on the environment has been broad-based. According to the Waxman report, House Republicans voted:

• 51 times in favor of the interests of the oil and gas industry including fast-tracking pipeline construction and putting up obstacles to developing cleaner alternatives to oil.

• 37 times to weaken the Clean Water Act and to block funding to implement the National Ocean Policy.

• 27 times to cut spending on clean energy and energy efficiency.

• 20 times to weaken the Clean Air Act.

• 20 times against efforts to curb carbon pollution.

With an extremist majority of the House Republican caucus firmly in the denier camp on climate change, and determined to undercut any environmental protections that don't have a direct impact in their own back yard, the count of obstructive votes is hardly a surprise.

Also no surprise is that too few House Democrats have shown the environment to be a high priority of theirs. For instance, only 33 Democrats are members of the Safe Climate Caucus led by Waxman. Members have pledged to speak out every day on the need to deal with climate change:

What unites us is our understanding that climate change is the moral issue of our time. We believe we have an obligation to use our voices to raise awareness of the dangers we are creating for our children and grandchildren if we do not act now.
There are 167 Democrats missing from that caucus. If they really want to distinguish themselves from the know-nothing right-wingers highlighted in Waxman's report, they should make it a point to sign up.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:29 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Hawks, Los Angeles Kossacks, Climate Change SOS, California politics, and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site