December 9, 2016

McMorris Rodgers’ Record Raises Serious Questions for Science at Interior Department

Statement from Andrew Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (December 9, 2016)—President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to lead the Department of the Interior. Her record is at odds with many of the department’s vital scientific functions, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

“The Department of the Interior has enormous scientific responsibilities, including protecting endangered species, preserving natural parks and federal lands, safeguarding natural heritage sites, fighting wildfires and monitoring and reporting on the health of America’s ecosystems, including the impacts of climate change. The next Secretary must consider the best available science when making policy, and support the work of the many scientists in the Department.

“Trump’s selection of Cathy McMorris Rodgers calls into question whether the Department will maintain its strong grounding in science. As a member of Congress, McMorris Rodgers has attempted to interfere with the use of science in policy. She has sponsored legislation that would erode the scientific foundation of the Endangered Species Act and even block protections for certain species, despite clear scientific evidence. She has pushed for more fossil fuel extraction on public lands and opposed rules that would protect our air and water from pollution caused by oil and gas development. And she has voted to strip scientists of whistleblower protections for reporting censorship or manipulation of their work.

“So far, the transition has offered some troubling signals about whether the new administration will respect science and its role in making policy. We hope that Rep. McMorris Rodgers will pay attention to scientific evidence, and faithfully enforce the laws that protect America’s public lands and natural resources.”