New Report Details "The Most Anti-Environment House in the History of Congress"
Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Rep. Edward J. Markey, and Rep. Howard L. Berman released a new report that provides a detailed analysis of the anti-environment record of the House in the 112th Congress. In the first session, the House Republicans voted 191 times to weaken environmental protections.
“The House Republican assault on the environment has been reckless and relentless,” said Rep. Waxman. “In bill after bill, for one industry after another, the House has been voting to roll back environmental laws and endanger public health. The Republican anti-environment agenda is completely out-of-touch with what the American public wants.”
“House Republicans didn’t wait until Christmas to hand out gifts to polluting industries. They’ve been doing it all year long, amassing the worst environmental record of any Congress in history,” said Rep. Markey. “These votes are just a preview of coming attractions if the fossil fuel industries get their way and place more Republicans in Congress and the White House. With that kind of cast, anti-environmental blockbusters will be the norm, sending more mercury into our kids, more air pollution into our lungs, and more carbon pollution into our atmosphere.”
“Americans rely on our government to protect their families from the dangerous effects of pollution that can poison our air, water, and environment,” said Rep. Berman. “Sadly, Republicans in the House of Representatives have shown a clear pattern of putting business interests ahead of human interest—of protecting corporate polluters over constituents. This report puts Americans on notice: we must continue to fight efforts to erode the laws that protect our health and wellbeing. I join my colleagues—Congressman Waxman, Congressman Markey, and others—in calling for renewed efforts to protect public health and the environment, and to continue to invest in renewable energy sources and clean technology, principles I have always upheld during my career in public service.”
The House of Representatives averaged more than one anti-environmental vote for every day the House was in session in 2011. More than one in five of the legislative roll call votes taken in 2011 – 22% – were votes to undermine environmental protections.
On average, 228 Republican members of the House – 94% of the Republican members – voted for the anti-environment position during these roll call votes. On average, 164 Democratic members of the House – 86% of the Democratic members – voted for the pro-environment position.
The anti-environment votes cut across a broad array of issues and included 27 votes to block action to address climate change, 77 votes to undermine Clean Air Act protections, 28 votes to undermine Clean Water Act protections, and 47 votes to weaken protection of public land and coastal waters. The Environmental Protection Agency was the target of 114 of these votes; the Department of the Interior was the target of 35 of these votes; and the Department of Energy was the target of 31 of these votes.