US President-elect Donald J. Trump reportedly plans to nominate Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who is vice-chair of his transition team, as Secretary of the Interior. She first was elected to serve her eastern Washington district in 2004, sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and chairs the House Republican Conference.
“The US is blessed with tremendous energy resources—including the greatest resource of all: the ingenuity of the free American mind,” she says on the Energy and Environment issues page at her congressional web site. “Instead of borrowing money from China to buy oil from Saudi Arabia, we should keep those energy dollars here in America for American jobs.
“We need a bold, comprehensive energy plan for the 21st century, and the basic principle of that plan should be ‘more of everything,’ especially, more hydropower and more energy research,” McMorris Rodgers maintains.
Early in her first term, as a House Natural Resources Committee member, she chaired a taskforce that proposed establishing a 180-day time limit for legal challenges to final federal agency decisions under the National Environmental Policy Act (OGJ Online, Dec. 27, 2005).
The group also recommended requiring litigants to demonstrate that the “best available information and science” was not involved in reaching the decision, and to be involved “throughout the process in order to have standing in an appeal.”
During her time in the House, McMorris Rodgers has supported expanding access to federally administered onshore lands and offshore waters for oil and gas leasing and development. Environmental organizations responded negatively to news of Trump’s planning to name her Interior secretary.
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