Trump Wants A Climate Change Denier To Protect America's Interior, Surprising No-One


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer

Cathy McMorris Rodgers meeting with President-elect Donald Trump back in November 2016. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Remember when Sarah “Drill Baby Drill” Palin was being considered as a potential pick for the Secretary of the Interior, the department that looks after the nation’s waterways, public land and over 400 national parks? Well, good news, ladies and gentlemen: that’s not happening, probably because she recently spoke out against the angry orange one.

Sadly, yet another climate change denying politician has reportedly got the job instead. Fantastic.


Enter Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Representative from Washington State who’s currently in her sixth term. She’s also the Chair of the House Republican Conference, and one of the highest-ranking Republicans in Congress. Now she’s one step away from being officially selected as the guardian of America’s natural beauty.

Someone being considered for this top job would be expected to be a passionate protector of the environment, as well as being someone who recognizes that the natural world is under siege from unchecked climate change. Looking through her political career so far, it appears that Rodgers is as much an advocate for the environment as a vampire would be for garlic.

The phrase “climate change” is only used once on her Twitter account, and that was back in 2009.


Fast forward three years, and you have her signing pledges sponsored by the notorious Koch brothers committing her to opposing any government-led climate legislation. She’s also commented on how the link between human activity and climate change is “inconclusive at best.”


She is a staunch opponent of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its attempts to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Rodgers is also known for being a proponent of selling off protected federal land.

Additionally, she will have the chance to alter the pro-environmental, pro-climate change mitigation messages being broadcast by groups like the United States Geological Survey and the National Park Service.

If confirmed by the Senate, Rodgers will govern over federal lands, up to a fifth of which contains all of America’s oil and gas, and up to two-fifths of which contain all the state-owned coal. She will also have the chance to reverse Obama’s efforts to protect federal land from fossil fuel extraction, from the icy regions of the north to the warmer climes of the Pacific Ocean.

Curiously, she is a strong supporter of both hydroelectric and nuclear power, two very clean sources of low-carbon energy. This is a small morsel of positive news in a maelstrom of bad news.


This is yet another appointment that is worthy of a facepalm, a slow clap, or a long, deep, regret-filled sigh. Another day, another anti-scientific addition to Trump’s version of the Avengers. Coming soon – Kanye West as the Secretary for Agriculture?

[H/T: Climate Central]


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  • Sarah Palin,

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  • Secretary of the Interior,

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