The House of Representatives holds the title of the most anti-environment House in congressional history. Led by Republicans, the House has voted against the environment 247 times in the last 18 months, averaging one anti-environmental vote for every day the House has been in session.
The newest report, released by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA), finds that many of these votes have directly benefited the oil and gas industry. According to the report:
- One out of every five votes has either rolled back protections for public lands, clean air, clean water, or enriched the oil industry.
- There were 77 votes undermining Clean Air and public health protections, including new EPA regulation of mercury toxins.
- Another 39 votes would weaken public lands protections, 37 votes to block climate change action, and 31 votes against Clean Water Act protection.
- The House voted to enrich the oil and gas industry 109 times, a total 44 percent of its anti-environment votes. There were 38 votes to prevent clean energy deployment and 12 votes to expedite review of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Republicans have close ties to the industries seeking to roll back environmental protections. House Republicans have received 8o percent of the oil industry’s campaign contributions over their careers, according to a ThinkProgress analysis of Center for Responsive Politics data. House Republicans have taken $38 million from the industry throughout their careers. By comparison, House Democrats have taken nearly $9 million, meaning Republican members have received more than four times as much of oil’s dollars as Democratic members. Meanwhile, coal contributions to Congress are on track this year to beat a record $8.1 million spending, and House Republicans have taken 85 percent of the coal industry’s cash.
After slashing key clean energy programs 13 times in recent weeks, the GOP will continue their sterling track record with a series of bills that protect their donors’ interests ahead of public health, public lands, and clean air. According to Markey, these bills count as “one of the largest fire sales of America’s taxpayer-owned land in history while attacking the bedrock environmental laws that protect our water, our air, and our people.”