House Hard on Environment in 2011
By Brendon Bosworth
In 2011, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 191 times to obstruct protection of the environment, earning it the title of the “most anti-environment House in the history of Congress,” according to a report prepared for representatives Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.).
On average, the House cast just over one anti-environmental vote for every day it was in session last year, according to the report. The report also highlights that, all told, during voting 94 percent of Republicans took an anti-environmental position, as opposed to Democrats — 86 percent of whom voted pro-environment.
Votes against the environment focused chiefly on stalling efforts to address climate change, stripping the Environmental Protection Agency of its ability to enforce certain Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act standards, allowing oil and gas development off the coasts of Florida and California instead of offshore drilling, preventing the Department of the Interior from identifying areas suitable for wilderness designations, and cutting funding for the Department of Energy, and its renewable energy endeavors, by 80 percent, according to the report.
The Environmental Protection Agency bore the brunt of most anti-environmental votes. Of the 191 votes against the environment, 114 targeted the EPA, 35 targeted the Department of the Interior, and 31 targeted the Department of Energy, according to the report.
“The House Republican assault on the environment has been reckless and relentless,” said Rep. Waxman in a press statement. “In bill after bill, for one industry after another, the House has been voting to roll back environmental laws and endanger public health.”
Read the full report, “The Anti-Environment Record of the U.S. House of Representatives 112th Congress, 1st Session” online.