Assistant Secretary-Designate Wodder Is a Choice Conservatives Should Like

July 19, 2011

Eli Lehrer, vice president of Washington, DC operations for The Heartland Institute and national director of its Center on Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate, issued the following statement on the nomination of American Rivers CEO Rebecca Wodder to the U.S. Department of the Interior as assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The following statement may be used for attribution. For additional comment, contact Lehrer directly at 202/615-0586 or elehrer@heartland.org; alternatively, contact Jim Lakely, director of communications, jlakely@heartland.org, or Tammy Nash, media relations manager, tnash@heartland.org, at 312/377-4000.


“Today, the United States Senate will consider the nomination of current American Rivers CEO Rebecca Wodder to the U.S. Department of the Interior as assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Although like most conservatives I disagree with a number of her positions – particularly those on climate change – I believe her record has many attributes conservatives should admire.

“American Rivers has worked with The Heartland Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity, and many other organizations in efforts to oppose environmentally destructive, fiscally unwise efforts to expand the National Flood Insurance Program.

“In the context of my knowledge of Ms. Wodder’s organization, I also would like to address the criticism American Rivers has received from some members of the Congress for its opposition to a more expansive National Flood Insurance Program and many projects undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers, and its support for efforts to decommission environmentally destructive, dangerous, poorly maintained dams. Although it is neither possible nor desirable to remove all structural means of water control, I see no reason why those who claim to favor smaller government should support government spending on dubious insurance and ‘economic development’ priorities that have the side effect of damaging scenic, historic, and useful rivers.

“Those who support smaller, less-intrusive government should cheer any organization calling for less government spending and a smaller government footprint in our natural environment. Ms. Wodder’s views on these issues are, in my judgment, exactly those that conservatives concerned about our natural environment should endorse.”


The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Tallahassee, Florida; Austin, Texas; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site at http://www.heartland.org or call 312/377-4000.