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Rep. Calvert's Appointment To Chair Subcommittee On Environment Sparks Criticism From Democratic Challenger

Tim Sheridan, who is looking to unseat Calvert in the 42nd District next year, said the appointment is bad news for the environment.

Tim Sheridan Photo/Sheridan for Congress
Tim Sheridan Photo/Sheridan for Congress
Republican Congressman Ken Calvert, who represents the cities of Lake Elsinore, Murrieta, Wildomar and other local jurisdictions, was named on Nov. 13 chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.

That appointment has democratic challenger Tim Sheridan crying foul.

Calvert said he was honored to serve as chairman, and excited to get to work in the new role.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Interior Subcommittee to assess and provide the necessary resources to protect our air and water quality, ensure Americans can enjoy our country’s natural treasures, and maintain our commitment to Native Americans,” he said in a released statement last month. 

Sheridan, who is looking to unseat Calvert in the 42nd District next year, said the appointment is bad news for the environment.

"Mr. Calvert's record on the environment renders his appointment as head of any environmental subcommittee a problem -- not a boon," Sheridan said in a Dec. 3 released statement.

"Mr. Calvert has shown such little regard for environmental issues that in 2012 he earned an abysmal 3 percent score from the highly respected League of Conservation Voters," Sheridan said.

The challenger criticized Calvert for supporting H.R. 4480. The legislation died in committee but was intended to provide for the development of a plan to increase oil and gas exploration on federal lands.

Sheridan said H.R. 4480 would have been terrible for the environment and was "intended to change the definition of air quality from the current standard, which gauges the potential effect on human health, to a standard which considers the 'cost to industry.'"

Sheridan also criticized Calvert's support for H.R. 3409. The democratic candidate said the legislation, if passed, would have gutted the Clean Water Act.

In Calvert's released statement, he outlined his objectives as chairman.  

“I am particularly interested in finding ways to strengthen domestic energy production by utilizing appropriate federal lands. Our economy benefits greatly from reducing our dependence on foreign energy supplies and by putting Americans to work here at home to take advantage of our natural resources. I am deeply concerned by ongoing efforts within the Department of Interior and the EPA to impose unnecessary regulatory red tape that will thwart our energy production and other sectors of our economy.”

Rep. Calvert was named as vice chairman of the Interior Subcommittee in January of 2013. Previously, while serving on the House Natural Resources Committee, he served as the chairman of the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee as well as the Chairman of the Water and Power Subcommittee. While serving on the House Science Committee, Calvert served as chairman of the Energy and the Environment Subcommittee.

Brent Graham December 05, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Ken Calvert is one of the members of this broken congress we unfortunately have that really doesn't do anything for his constituents. We need a representative that might be interested in devoting some of his time to solving the problems of our outrageously messed up transportation system. That would help those of us stuck on the freeways. And all those cars and trucks idling in the traffic jams daily for hors and hours spew even more pollution into our neighborhoods. Instead he plays around in Washington D.C. with lobbyists. This guy has become the local joke!
rick neugebauer December 05, 2013 at 03:06 PM
I guess your not following the work currently being done on our local freeways, Hwy 91 from Van Buren to 7th Street, I 215 /60 interchange, I 215 Scott Rd, to 4th Street in Perris,.... Hwy 91 Remembering that some money comes from Washington and some from WRCOG for local project, some are regional too. If you continue to build freeways larger jobs will just continue to go where the freeways terminus, maybe we should just leave them as they are and the jobs would stay in Riverside County.
Brent Graham December 06, 2013 at 09:20 AM
Way too little and much too late! And Calvert could have positioned himself (by getting on the right committees) to do a lot more to help get these freeways moving around here. But he chose the lazy route. You can blame it on others but he hasn't lifted a finger to straighten it out. If only we had a congressman that wanted to do a good job.
ChrisG December 06, 2013 at 11:21 AM
@brent, maybe you could help by finding a local job or moving closer to where you are employed? Nothing they do to widen existing freeways is going to help the over crowded conditions. The fact is there are too many cars for our infrastructure to handle.
Brent Graham December 08, 2013 at 10:03 AM
You guys yapp about how there's nothing anybody can do about the problem because you are so beaten down you accept it. Heck I don't have to deal with traffic very often but I experience it enough to know it is a big mess (especially the 91 freeway). And all those idlying cars spewing all those exhaust fumes in the air. You do breathe, don't you? Don't you even wonder why Calvert doesn't get on committees that can help the taxpayers that live right here in his congressional district?

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