By now it’s a familiar pattern to those who really pay attention. Rep. Reichert (WA-08) equivocates on an issue. He refuses to take a stand on an issue that anyone can really pin to him. And then he votes against the interests of his district—and hopes nobody notices.
This time it is about big oil. Reichert recently voted against the CLEAR Act, that was in response to the BP gulf catostrophy. The act got rid of the $75 million oil spill liability cap and revamped Federal oversight of the offshore oil industry.
…[i]n addition to a number of Gulf Coast restoration and research programs, the bill also fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million, using money generated from oil and gas drilling royalties, and closes a loophole that exempts oil and gas projects from the storm-water runoff regs under the Clean Water Act. Another major onshore reform is the removal of “categorical exclusions” used to exempt some drilling applications from environmental review on public lands.
“Americans will be asking, ‘Will Senators stand with the people or the polluters?’” Todd Keller, senior manager of Public Lands Campaigns for National Wildlife Federation, said in a release.
We now know where Reichert Stands…with the polluters.
This is precisely the type of vote that Reichert could have used to make a bold statement in favor of his more-environmentally-aware-than-average constituents. Hell…he could have used this vote to do a little damage control following his embarrassing semi-private statement about pandering to the environmentalists. Instead, he voted with the Party of NO!™ (ideas) and against the interests of his constituents. Apparently, Republican obstructionism is more important to Reichert.
Fortunately, Reichert is pretty much impotent as a legislator—the act passed in the House without any acts of courage on Reichert’s part.