President Obama has withdrawn his nomination of Rebecca Wodder
to be the assistant Interior secretary for fish, wildlife, and parks, after Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) blocked the pick. Wodder, the former CEO of American Rivers, was supported by environmentalists and even the Heartland Institute. Inhofe and Vitter blocked Wodder on behalf of the oil and gas industry. Inhofe explained he opposed Wodder over fracking, which she doesn’t even regulate:
They try to say it doesn’t directly affect the policy with hydraulic fracturing, and technically that’s right. But the fact that you come in as an activist with an extreme position is just more of the same in the administration, in every little corner of government.
Vitter had vowed he would block her confirmation unless Interior issued a blanket extension of all Gulf of Mexico drilling leases, Greenwire reports. The extension was not issued.
Wodder will work as an adviser at the department.
“Based on her extensive experience and expertise, the Secretary has asked her to serve as a senior adviser, working primarily on conservation issues and the America’s Great Outdoors initiative,” said Interior spokesman Adam Fetcher.