It's not official yet, but multiple news outlets are reporting that Spokane congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers is President-elect Donald Trump's pick for interior secretary.
The choice is already drawing negative reactions from environmentalists concerned that McMorris Rodgers supports more fossil fuel production.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers met with President-elect Trump after the election, she's a vice-chair chair of his transition team and she's the fourth-ranking Republican in the House.
“We've got bold, specific agenda items that will make a difference in people's lives,” she said in a speech after the election.
Washington Policy Center environmental policy analyst Todd Myers knows her from her time as a Washington state lawmaker and believes she is well-suited for the job of interior secretary.
“She knows the good and bad of what can happen if you mismanage federal lands. I think she'll be a great steward,” Myers said.
It's a job that would put her in charge of national parks, like Mount Rainier. And it would put her in charge of managing natural resources on federal land.
Joan Crooks is CEO of Washington Conservation Voters. She said her first reaction was “shock and concern. She has a record of wanting to drill for more gas and oil and wanted to cut more timber from our public lands.”
Crooks is worried that drilling for more oil in other states will send more oil trains to the refineries based in Washington state.
McMorris Rodgers is known as a climate change skeptic. Four years ago she told the Spokane Spokesman-Review, "Scientific reports are inconclusive at best on human culpability for global warming. Regardless...to reduce carbon emissions, we need innovation in the private sector; not excessive government regulation to stifle some industries while rewarding others."
Todd Myers believes she will strike the right balance.
Because she’s grown up surrounded by natural resources, she's going to want to leave those lands better than she found them.
It’s interesting to note that the current interior secretary is also from Washington state. Sally Jewell was the CEO of REI.
Cox Media Group