Washington, D.C. – In the latest sign of strong momentum for Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva to be the next ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, four former Oregon lawmakers, including former Rep. Jim Weaver, signed a letter circulated yesterday by environmental groups supporting Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva for ranking member of the Natural Resources Committee. The letter was also signed by former County Commissioners Bill Fleenor, Jerry Rust and Rob Handy.
Weaver held his seat from 1974 to 1986 immediately before Rep. Peter DeFazio, who is also seeking the ranking member position, took it over. He sat on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, the predecessor of today’s Natural Resources Committee, which was chaired by longtime Arizona Rep. Mo Udall beginning in 1977.
Weaver, once DeFazio’s boss during his Congressional tenure, served six terms in the House and established a strong pro-environment record, especially through his profile as a national spokesman against the construction of further nuclear power plants. He sat on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, the predecessor of today’s Natural Resources Committee. Weaver was also an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War and received early support from the pro-equality Human Rights Campaign.
The letter was already previously signed by 178 environmental, conservation and outdoor groups and individuals – including the Alliance for Ethical Business, Center for Biological Diversity, CREDO Action, Gulf Restoration Network and the Western Lands Project – and sent to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsing Grijalva. The updated letter is available at http://1.usa.gov/12nSBYJ.
The environmental letter reads in part, “The Natural Resources Committee needs unwavering leadership that represents the diversity and strength of the Democratic party – someone who has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to work with all stakeholders while standing up to industry special interests. We believe Rep. Grijalva will bring to the position of Ranking Member the positive and collaborative approach needed to find solutions to these critical environmental issues.”
“These gentlemen’s support means a great deal to me, and I believe they’re not alone. This is a time to step forward on the big environmental issues we face, as the president is doing today, and I’m looking forward to bringing a vision shared by millions of Americans to the full committee as the next ranking member.”