U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, seen here in a campaign photo, has launched her congressional career by sponsoring bills to undo environmental regulations. The first to pass the U.S. House was a resolution overturning a planning rule adopted by the Obama administration. (Cheney for Wyoming photo)

Originally published by E&E News

When it comes to cracking down on environmental rules, President Trump has a friend in rookie lawmaker Liz Cheney.

For the Wyoming Republican and older daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, promises to rein in regulatory “overreach” and to revive the coal industry were central to her 2016 campaign. Now that she’s getting settled on Capitol Hill, she’s poised to assist the Trump administration in its efforts to drastically scale back federal environmental regulations.

U.S. EPA was constantly in Cheney’s crosshairs on the campaign trail.

Read a WyoFile story on what’s at stake in Cheney’s first bill

“They’ve become bloated, they’re operating in an unconstitutional fashion, they’re failing in their fundamental mission, they’ve been captured by environmental radicalists, and we really are in a situation today where Congress has got to begin to exercise control and ultimately move toward much more state involvement,” she said in a debate last summer, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported.

Cheney has also called for a “revolution on regulations,” the Associated Press reported last May.

Now, the House freshman has a shot at turning her campaign trail rhetoric into laws.

Cheney, 50, only recently moved into her new office in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. The energy page on her website isn’t yet flush with details, but the one photo posted there — a picture of an oil rig — gives an indication of her priorities.

Her winning race last fall was her second shot at snagging a seat in Congress. In 2014, she tried — and failed — to unseat popular incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the Republican primary.

Cheney dropped out of the Senate race months before the primary. Throughout that campaign, she had been hit by charges that she was a carpetbagger because she had lived and worked for years in the Washington region — including stints in the State Department during the George W. Bush administration — despite her family’s Wyoming roots.

Cheney is Wyoming’s sole representative in the House, occupying the seat her father held from 1979 until 1989, when he became President George H.W. Bush’s Defense secretary.

She landed a prime spot on the House Natural Resources Committee, with seats on subcommittees that oversee federal lands and energy and mineral resources. She’s also on the Armed Services and Rules committees.

“She’s never going to come up for air, and I feel for her because those are very demanding assignments,” said retired Wyoming Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis, whose seat Cheney filled.

“I am cheering her on from 2,000 miles away and hoping that all goes well for her,” added Lummis, who’s back in Wyoming. “She’s extremely capable and she’ll handle it well.”

Cheney’s hires so far include Chief of Staff Kara Ahern, who was campaign manager for Cheney’s Senate bid and a former aide to Dick Cheney; legislative director Scott Hughes, a former staffer for ex-Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.); and communications director Amy Edmonds.

In her first month on the job, Cheney has already introduced several environmental bills.

They include a measure to remove the gray wolf from the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act and a bill to undo one of the Obama administration’s signature federal land management rules.

Cheney is making it a priority to “rein in out-of-control federal bureaucracies, reduce unconstitutional power grabs by agencies such as the [the Bureau of Land Management] and EPA, and restore authority over our public lands to our county commissioners and other local elected officials,” Edmonds told the Billings Gazette last month.

One of Cheney’s early moves in Congress has already prompted pushback from hunters back in her home state.

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Wyoming sportsmen’s groups complained this year when she supported a measure that would make it easier to transfer federal public lands to states, according to the Gazette.

Ryan Greene, the Democratic candidate for Congress who lost to Cheney last fall, criticized his opponent for her views on climate change and her pledges to boost the coal industry.

“I believe a lot of what Ms. Cheney said was just campaign promises with no evidence that she or Trump could bring back coal,” Greene said in a recent interview.

He noted that Cheney had referred to “junk” climate science on the campaign trail.

She told Wyoming radio station KOWB last year, “I think that [the Obama administration’s] assertions about climate change are based on junk science.”

In that interview, Cheney called for pursuing an “all-of-the-above energy strategy.”

She added that the Obama administration had enacted “massive government favoritism for renewables” and was operating in a “fantasy world” where “they think that renewable sources of energy will be able to provide the electricity and the energy that we need to function as a nation. That’s simply not the case.”

Cheney’s office declined requests for an interview.

Reprinted from E&E Daily with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2017. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net.



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  1. What did Wyoming people think was going to happen, the hopes and dreams of fleeting industry would come roaring back, does anyone really listen or stop modern progress? Today it was announced 14 February 2017 that China and India are over and beyond air Standards for their people. However China is rapidly making changes into solar, wind, hydro power to curb fossil fuels and India is seeking economic power, which country is making a difference? Yet this nation is going backwards and it isn’t about fossil fuels,or Oil… Our greatest Renewable resources is water and, we’ve been kidding ourselves it is the futures in investments by the truly rich and the only non-renewable resource in which they do not control as of yet is public Land. In just a short span of time a decade land has become extremely valuable to corporations and investors, why it holds the keys to riches of the rich and their futures. Mrs Cheney willingness to reduce regulations only makes Wyoming open to plunder on the disguise of jobs along with brighter economy on a dying industry . If she truly cared she would strive to work with what we have under regulations and a plan for our future on the progress of renewable resources along with a greener environment, and Hemp is great start. Well in just 22 months I hope Wyoming people will stay focused on which direction they wish to go, then decide maybe this time,Wyoming is due change at all levels whether on party lines or not for their future is truly in your child’s hands…

  2. Representative Liz Cheney’s and President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that federal regulations cost jobs and damage the economy are simply not true.

    In 2003, the President George W. Bush White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) performed the most extensive analysis of regulations in our nation’s history. The OMB study, Costs and Benefits of Federal Regulations, found that regulations cost America $38-44 billion, but saved $135-218 billion.

    The Costs and Benefits of Government Regulation, including:

    Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy — Benefits: $4.7 billion | Costs: $2.4 billion;

    Food and Drug Administration — Benefits: $2 to $4.5 billion.| Costs: $482 to $651 million;

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) — Benefits: $1.8 to $4.2 billion. | Costs: $1 billion;

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSHA) — Benefits: $4.3 to $7.6 billion. |
 Costs: $2.7 to $5.2 billion;

    EPA: Clean Air Regulations — Benefits: $106 to $163 billion.
| Costs: $18.3 to $20.9 billion;

    EPA Clean Water Regulations — Benefits: $891 million to $8.1 billion. |
 Costs: $2.4 to $2.9 billion.

    The study has been updated almost every year since then. In 2015, OMB found costs at $57-85 billion, benefits at $216-$812 billion.

    Rep. Cheney’s focus on environmental regulations is the most misguided. Clean air regulations were found to be the most cost-effective of all federal regulations — topping the list at an 8-1 benefit to cost. Clean water regulations came in at a solid 3 to 1 benefit to cost.

    What smart business would turn down returns like that?

    Both of the past Republican and Democratic presidential administration use facts, science and data to evaluate regulations. They consistently found that, overall, government regulations are highly cost-effective.

    Certainly we all have examples of carelesslyapplied or foolishly implemented regulations. We should always be trying to streamline regulations and make regulatory implementation as economically efficient as possible. However, a careless approach to deep regulatory cuts by Rep. Cheney and the Trump administrations will not be in the best interest of America’s economy, businesses, or people.

    Paul Hansen is the former executive director of the Izaak Walton League of America, and author of Green in Gridlock: Common Goals, Common Ground and Compromise, 2013, Texas A&M University Press.

  3. Ms. Cheney would do well to read Bloomberg News’ analysis of why it is highly unlikely that coal will ever regain a major share of the energy market. At the same time she should look at the fiscal situation in Wyoming and let us know how she expects the state to manage if federal lands are given to the state (unless of course she would like to see them sold off to private concerns).

  4. Our Virginia Rep. loves her some coal, an expensive, destructive to mine and to burn, whose time has long passed. But she wants to make it cheaper by allowing corporations to disregard safety and allow dumping waste in streams and rivers, deregulate stack pollution, essentially making our planet a smoldering heap for the enrichment of her daddy/ corporate overlords!
    I find her election just as disgusting as that of that _________ occupying the White House, I weep for this state, I weep for this country!

    Wyoming native!!