More Than 180 Groups Call for Rep. Raúl Grijalva to be Ranking Democrat on House Natural Resources Committee

Coalition includes Conservation, Latino, Progressive, Religious, Labor Groups

WASHINGTON—(ENEWSPF)–November 17, 2014.  A diverse coalition of groups today urged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic caucus to elect Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) as the next ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources. In today’s letter, the groups make a strong case for why Grijalva’s unwavering commitment to protecting America’s long-term environmental security makes him the right choice to succeed Rep. Peter DeFazio, who is expected to become ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Grijalva, long-recognized for his leadership for conserving the nation’s resources as a public trust, is currently ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus.

“Congressman Grijalva has been one of our strongest voices for environmental stewardship, protection of public lands and endangered wildlife, and environmental justice for underrepresented communities,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “We need Congressman Grijalva’s leadership and his commitment to putting the long-term environmental and economic interests of all Americans ahead of the short-sighted self-interests of those looking only to profit from our public lands.”

Today’s letter notes that Rep. Grijalva has “shown exemplary leadership throughout his career fighting to protect our common environmental heritage, both in his district and across our nation,” and that such leadership will be crucial to beat back attacks on the environment in 114th Congress. 

“As an organization made up of Latino environmental and conservation leaders, GreenLatinos has long looked to Rep. Raul Grijalva for his leadership and strategic thinking on national and local conservation issues. Raul has been and remains the gold standard for organizing and advocacy on behalf of the people of his district, the Latino community and the nation,” said Mark Magaña, president of GreenLatinos. “It is with a strong sense of shared pride that we look forward to working with him in the important position of Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee.”

“Representative Grijalva is precisely the right person at the right time to lead the House Natural Resources Committee Democrats. Who better to stand against the anti-environmental onslaught about to come than a tenacious advocate who is always fighting for a clean and healthy environment for all people today and for future generations?” said Marty Hayden, vice president of policy and legislation at Earthjustice.

“Now more than ever we need strong leaders whose decision-making is informed by what’s good for the American people and the planet and not guided by what’s best for Big Polluters,” said Allison Fisher of Public Citizen. “Congressman Grijalva is the type of leader we need.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 800,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places