LaMalfa’s Environmental Voting Record is Toxic

In addition to denying climate science, Congressman LaMalfa has little regard for environmental science or for the environment. The League of Conservation Voters, a well-established environmental watchdog organization, gives LaMalfa a lifetime environmental voting score of 1%. (The average member of the House gets a 43% voting score). He deserves it. LaMalfa is an anti-environmental extremist out of touch with the majority of Northern Californians.

LaMalfa in 2017 co-sponsored crony legislation to facilitate the sale of northern California water to Southern California irrigation districts, to the benefit of “senior water rights” holders like LaMalfa’s own irrigation district. To facilitate such sales, the bill proposed to exempt the sales from application of the Endangered Species Act, jeopardizing salmon populations and threatening the habitat of millions of birds. Luckily, the bill died in committee.

LaMalfa has also sought to limit the Endangered Species Act by voting to make listing a species as endangered under the Act more difficult, to weaken environmental protections in the Delta, and to weaken the application of that federal law to water sales within California.

LaMalfa has voted:

  • to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”),
  • to limit the involvement of environmental subject matter experts in EPA policy making,
  • to undermine the EPA’s access to data on which to base policies,
  • to limit the Agency’s ability to prosecute or penalize businesses that violate federal environmental laws, and
  • to limit fee awards to private lawyers who succeed in enforcing federal environmental laws against polluters.

LaMalfa voted in favor of the Keystone Pipeline, a project to move tar sands-based oil from Canada to Texas, where it would be available for export.

LaMalfa has repeatedly voted to favor oil, gas and coal producers over environmental protections, including votes:

  • to permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,
  • to expand offshore drilling (including in the Arctic Ocean),
  • to limit the EPA’s ability to prevent coal mining companies from placing mining waste in streams
  • to prevent the EPA’s and the Bureau of Land Management’s standards for methane pollution from oil and gas wells from coming into effect,
  • to leave open loopholes in the Clean Air Act that permit oil and gas companies to release toxic air pollutants, and
  • to block the Bureau of Land Management from adopting rules applicable to fracking on federal land.

LaMalfa voted against an amendment to an appropriations act for the Department of the Interior that would have restored funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Program, a program that assists low income and minority communities the disproportionate impact of exposure to environmental hazards that those communities face.

LaMalfa also voted:

  • in favor of disregarding carbon impacts when federal agencies consider permits for new projects,
  • to block implementation of national carbon pollution limits for new and existing power plants, and
  • to deny the Interior Secretary the power to consider the effects of climate change when making decisions related to conservation and recreation on federal public lands.

As a California legislator, LaMalfa voted against a bill to require state and local water agencies (like the State Water Project) to incorporate climate change impacts into their plans, and against permitting the California Coastal Commission to fund and address climate change impacts to the coast.

LaMalfa’s anti-science, anti-environment “head in the sand” approach to governance has led him to vote to endanger our military and our national security. In 2016, he voted in support of an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act to prohibit the U.S. military from continuing to research the effect that climate change will have on military installations.

LaMalfa is not simply a hazard to Northern California. He is a hazard to our nation.

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