Monday, November 29, 2010

CALL TO ACTION: Lame duck omnibus public lands bill

Rumors are buzzing about a possible last-minute lame duck vote on an omnibus public lands bill. Last week, PLC, ASI, NCBA, and other livestock affiliates sent a letter to Interior Secretary Salazar, after his recent promise to push for an omnibus public lands bill and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in the lame duck session. Today, we have sent two similar letters to congressional leadership: one addressed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner (cc’d are House Natural Resources Committee Members Rahall, Hastings, Grijalva, and Bishop), and the other addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (cc’d are Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Members Bingaman, Murkowski, Wyden, and Barrasso.)

We ask that you contact your senators and representatives, requesting that they oppose an omnibus public lands bill and full funding to the LWCF. As you know, both could add land to the special land designations portfolio with inadequate congressional deliberation and local stakeholder input. For more information on the potential omnibus bill, see the attached letters and this editorial by Andy Rieber from Western Livestock Journal. For more on the LWCF, also see the letters and this LINK).

Also attached is a list of candidate bills for the potential omnibus lands bill. While the list may not be comprehensive, it includes nearly 260,000 acres of proposed wilderness areas across the west. A few examples:

·         Arizona’s Tumacacori Highlands (84,000 acres)
·         California’s Fort Irwin, Cady, and Soda Mountain areas (346,000 acres)
·         Colorado’s San Juan Mountains (33,000 acres)
·         Oregon’s lower John Day River (16,000 acres)
·         New Mexico’s Dona Ana County

Other states with pending wilderness legislation include Idaho, Michigan, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia.

Also up for consideration is a bill that could designate a 110,000 acre National Conservation Area in New Mexico’s Organ / Dona Ana Mountains.

Note also the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act, which was mentioned in the BLM’s “Treasured Landscapes” leaked document for the purpose of federal land acquisition. Other bills mentioned in the leaked document also appear to be up for consideration in a possible omnibus bill. Please review the bills and contact your legislators accordingly.


Theodora Dowling
Manager of Legislative Affairs
Public Lands Council/National Cattlemen's Beef Association
(202) 879-9135

NM Bills Favorably Reported from Committee


Cibola National Forest Expansion (H.R. 5388) On May 25, 2010, Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced legislation to expand the Cibola National Forest. The bill will add the Crest of Montezuma to the north end of the Cibola National Forest and expand the existing Manzano Wilderness in the south end of the forest by aproximately 900 acres. The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM). The House Natural Resources Committee approved this bill on July 22, 2010.

S. 84 – El Rio Grande Del Norte National Conservation Area Establishment Act (Bingaman D-NM). To establish El Rio Grande Del Norte National Conservation Area in the State of New Mexico. It would designate as the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area approximately 235,980 acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in northern New Mexico, including two wilderness areas—the 8,000-acre Rio San Antonio Wilderness, currently administered as a Wilderness Study Area, and the 13,420-acre Cerro del Yuta Wilderness. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an open business session on December 16, 2009, by voice vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 874, if amended (Calendar No. 285). CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have no significant effect on the cost of administering the area. We further estimate that any costs to update the management plan for the property or modify existing maps and other materials would be minimal. Finally, because the affected land currently produces no income (and is not expected to do so in the future), CBO estimates that enacting the bill would not affect revenues or direct spending.

S. 1689 – Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act (Bingaman D-NM). The purpose of S. 1689 is to establish the 84,950-acre Organ Mountains National Conservation Area, the 75,550-acre Desert Peaks National Conservation Area, and to designate approximately 241,400 acres of public land in the State of New Mexico administered by the Bureau of Land Management as wilderness. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an open business session on July 21, 2010, by voice vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 1689, as amended (Calendar No. 596). NOTE – NO REPUBLICAN VOTE FOR OR WAS PRESENT AT THIS MARK UP. The Business Meeting was scheduled despite protests of the Ranking Member. CBO estimates that any increase in federal costs to manage those lands would not exceed $500,000 in any year. S. 1689 could reduce offsetting receipts because it would no longer allow certain lands to be disposed of or leased. Therefore pay-as-you-go procedures apply to the legislation. However, based on information from BLM, CBO estimates that any reduction in offsetting receipts would be negligible over the 2010-2020 period.

S. 3452 – Valles Caldera National Preserve Management Act (Bingaman D-NM). S. 3452 would transfer administrative jurisdiction of the Valles Caldera Preserve in New Mexico from the Forest Service to the National Park Service (NPS). The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open business session on July 21, 2010, by a voice vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 3452, as amended (Calendar No. 604). NOTE – NO REPUBLICAN VOTE FOR OR WAS PRESENT AT THIS MARK UP. S. 3452 would increase discretionary spending by $16 million over the 2011-2015 period and by $16 million over the following five years. Enacting the legislation would not affect revenues and would have no net effect on direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

Livestock Industry Opposes Lame Duck Omnibus Public Lands Bill

November 29, 2010
The Honorable Harry Reid
522 Hart Senate Office Bldg Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
361-A Russell Senate Office Bldg
Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Omnibus Public Lands Bill and Land & Water Conservation Fund

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:

    The undersigned livestock groups are concerned with statements from the administration supporting both an omnibus public lands measure and legislation to increase funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Both measures could threaten the livelihoods of livestock producers during a nationwide economic recession. During these final days of the 111th U.S. Congress, we ask that you approach these matters using congressional oversight to promote limited federal spending, continued use of our natural resources, and local input in the decision-making process.
    We cannot support an omnibus lands bill, which could restrict access to millions of acres of federal land across the west by creating new land designations such as wilderness areas and National Conservation Areas. Although reports vary as to the number of bills that would be included (we have heard between 60 and 120 separate bills), multiple-use on those lands could be threatened. Livestock grazing, oil and gas leasing, logging, mining, and other business activities important to rural economies would be jeopardized. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars would be spent administering the sweeping new special land designations, year after year.
    Similarly, increasing funding to the LWCF will not only add to the national debt, but could harm productivity on our federal lands as well. Between 1965 and 2002, the LWCF—even without full funding and with the requirement of authorization from Congress for every expenditure—put $8.7 billon toward federal acquisition and “conservation” of 4.5 million acres of land. It also gave around $3.5 billion to state and local projects to set aside another 2.3 million acres. We are wary of the proposal to increase funding to the LWCF by $5 billion through year 2016, while removing the requirement of congressional approval on expenditures. Such a proposal could well pave the way for federal land agencies to acquire productive private acres without local stakeholder involvement, and to make special designations on public lands without local grassroots involvement. We believe it is critical that the local stakeholders remain part of the process of land sales and potential land use designations. The federal government owns and struggles to manage nearly 650 million acres of land—almost 30% of our nation’s land area. Our country can ill afford the added costs of LWCF acquisitions, not to mention the removal of more natural resources from productive use in the rural west.
    While we may not know how many bills would be included in an omnibus measure, this we know with certainty: every public land bill is unique and deserves thoughtful congressional deliberation and local input. While some bills may have the support of local stakeholders, others could be damaging and restrictive to the people who live adjacent to and work on that land. Furthermore, although we cannot know which or how many acres the LWCF would set aside, the citizens who comprise our rural western economies and who count on the natural resources on federal lands should be given a voice in these special designation decisions. Increasing federal spending, heightening restrictions and regulations, and bundling together and forcing through Congress masses of federal lands bills are not legislative actions we deem appropriate or necessary.
    Wise, beneficial use of our public lands’ natural resources is a means of improving the lives of not only the families of the rural west, but of people across the nation and world. We appreciate your consideration of our desire to give voice to our hardworking rural citizens and ensure their continued ability to add value through responsible productivity on public lands.

American Sheep Industry Association
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Public Lands Council
Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association
California Cattlemen’s Association
California Wool Growers Association
Colorado Cattlemen’s Association
Colorado Public Lands Council
Idaho Cattle Association
Montana Stockgrowers Association
Montana Public Lands Council
Montana Association of State Grazing Districts
Nevada Cattlemen’s Association
Oregon Cattlemen’s Association
South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association
Utah Cattlemen’s Association
Washington Cattlemen’s Association
Wyoming Stock Growers Association
Cc: Senator Bingaman, Senator Murkowski, Senator Wyden, Senator Barrasso

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Outlook Dim for Lame-Duck Omnibus Lands Package

Washington - by Phil Taylor, E&E reporter

Congress may lose its best chance to pass a suite of public lands proposals that would protect more than 2 million acres of federal lands as wilderness if it fails to move an omnibus measure in the lame-duck session, conservation groups say.

But while a key Senate lawmaker last week said he was bundling several dozen public lands bills into a draft package, Democratic leadership is mum about whether such a measure could move amid a crowded Senate schedule of higher-profile issues including a continuing resolution, tax extensions and other measures.

"It is on a list of items that are possible for consideration during the lame duck," Regan LaChapelle, a spokeswoman for Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said of a draft public lands proposal by New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D). "We have a long list of items that are possible and not much time to do so."

Reid is speaking with fellow Democrats and Republicans, House leaders and the Obama administration to decide what is possible over the coming weeks, LaChapelle said.

The proposal by Bingaman, who is chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, would include most of the 60-plus public lands bills his panel has passed in the 111th Congress, and none that have failed to pass, said spokesman Bill Wicker.
ALW Steve Boutcher
A proposal to add 22,000 acres of wilderness to Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area and extend the Pratt River and Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River wild and scenic rivers is likely included in a draft public lands omnibus package seeking passage in the Senate. Photo courtesy of USFS/Steve Boutcher.

Bills that have passed the committee include a proposal to designate the Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico as a unit of the National Park System, a proposal to turn the Devil's Staircase in Oregon into federally protected wilderness where logging and road development would be banned, and a bill to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington and extend the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and Pratt River wild and scenic rivers.

Other bills would create new national parks, monuments, wilderness areas and wildlife sanctuaries.

"We really don't know what the prospects for a public lands bill are likely to be," said Wicker, adding that Bingaman would be talking with leadership and committee Republicans before making a decision on how to move forward. A final decision on a package could come anytime before the end of the session, Wicker said.

"Certainly the chairman would like to see all of those bills succeed," he said.

Wicker said the bill would likely be roughly one-third the size of a 2009 public lands omnibus that designated 2.1 million acres of new wilderness areas in nine states, an amount nearly equal to all the wilderness designated under the George W. Bush administration.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who voted for an earlier version of the 2009 proposal as a Democratic senator from Colorado, lauded the 2009 measure this week for formally recognizing the National Landscape Conservation System and adding 1 million acres to it (see related story).

At a summit in Las Vegas on Monday to sign an order elevating NLCS to the level of directorate, Salazar said he had to return to Washington to discuss the omnibus proposal, according to sources who attended the summit.

"He mentioned he'd like to stay. However, he needed to get back to Washington, D.C., for a series of meetings to work on an omnibus bill," said Greg Mumm, executive director of the BlueRibbon Coalition, an Idaho-based group that promotes access for off-highway vehicle users and often opposes wilderness bills.

Interior spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff did not confirm whether Salazar had met with Senate leadership to discuss the proposal, but said the secretary felt it was important for Interior to "serve as wise stewards of the places that matter most to Americans."

"Although we don't know at this point what specifically would be in such a package, the department and its agencies have testified in support of many measures that could be included," Barkoff said.
Some bills miss the cut

While many of the public lands bills that have passed the ENR Committee contain small-scale land swaps, boundary adjustments and trail revisions, others include sizable wilderness designations and important land and lease transfers that would either facilitate or prohibit mineral development.

Bingaman's "Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act," S. 1689, which was passed by the committee in the summer, would protect 270,000 acres of wilderness and 110,000 acres as a national conservation area.

Omnibus prospects are dim, however, for other large public lands bills that failed to pass the committee.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester's (D) "Forest Jobs and Recreation Act," which coupled about 680,000 acres of wilderness with a pioneering mandate to mechanically treat 100,000 acres of timber over the next 15 years failed to pass the committee, despite the support of the Obama administration (Land Letter, Oct. 21).

Aaron Murphy, a spokesman for Tester, said the senator would be exploring all legislative options for passing the bill during the lame-duck session.

Also stalled in the committee is Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson's (R) "Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act," which was blocked from a committee vote by one of the bill's sponsors, Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) (Land Letter, Sept. 30).

"CIEDRA is still a top priority for Congressman Simpson," said spokeswoman Nikki Watts. "But right now they've got a whole lot of budgetary issues they're facing."

By sticking only to measures that have passed the Senate committee, some House proposals would also miss the cut, such as Rep. Jared Polis' (D-Colo.) "Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act" in central Colorado, which includes portions of a 342,000-acre "Hidden Gems" wilderness proposal (Land Letter, Nov. 11).

"We have a chairman and ranking member who are very respectful of committee process," said Wicker, referring to Bingaman and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Accepting bills into the package that have not passed the committee is "not a 'Pandora's Box' we care to open," he said.
A bipartisan issue?

Some wilderness advocates have stressed the need to pass public lands protections before House committees fall into the hands of Republicans, some of whom have openly criticized such bills.

"Elections matter for our public lands," said Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance executive director Scott Groene in an e-mail alert the day after the mid-term elections, according to National Parks Traveler. "Last night brought enormous change for the worse. Wilderness may be a bipartisan issue, although it fares better under one party and that party was crushed."

Indeed, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), the likely successor to chair the House Natural Resources Committee, has said he dislikes omnibus measures, preferring instead to consider individual bills on their own merits.

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), who is likely to lead the panel's National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee, told Land Letter that omnibus measures have succeeded in masking bad bills among good ones and sneaking by substantive policy changes.

"Having an omnibus at all means the process failed," said Bishop, who criticized the 2009 measure for formally recognizing the NLCS, which includes 16 national monuments, 21 national conservation areas, 221 wilderness areas, 545 wilderness study areas, 2,419 miles of wild and scenic rivers and 6,000 miles of national scenic and historic trails.

The system, Bishop said, "still is a redundancy."

But Paul Spitler, national wilderness campaigns associate director for the Wilderness Society, said public lands bills have successfully garnered bipartisan support regardless of which party controls Congress.

The Senate ENR Committee and others have approved 120 bills this session that affect land, water and wildlife in 30 states, he said. Many of them are bipartisan and 28 are authored by Republicans, he said. And, Spitler noted, the last time Republicans controlled the House, Congress approved 1.8 million acres of new wilderness.

"Wilderness has historically been a very bipartisan issue, it remains a bipartisan issue today," he said, adding that the 2009 omnibus package passed the Senate with 20 Republican votes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Secretary Salazar Establishes New Directorate For National Landscape Conservation System

Elevated management focus for 27 million acres of nationally significant public lands


Contact: Kendra Barkoff, DOI (202) 208-6416

LAS VEGAS, NV – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today issued a Secretarial Order elevating the Office of the National Landscape Conservation System and Community Partnerships in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the level of a directorate within BLM.

“This action reflects the growing importance of the 27-million acre National Landscape Conservation System to local economies, to the health of communities, and to the conservation of some of America’s greatest landscapes,” Salazar said at the National Landscape Conservation System Summit in Las Vegas. “The BLM plays a special role in protecting America’s great outdoors for the benefit of all Americans – for it is the national conservation lands that contain the forests and canyons that families love to explore, the backcountry where children learn to hunt and fish, and the places that tell the story of our history and our cultures. Each of these places within the National Landscape Conservation System holds special meaning to the American people and is an engine for jobs and economic growth in local communities.”

This National Landscape Conservation System was established as an integral part of the Bureau of Land Management by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, a bipartisan initiative that responded to the critical need, as the population of the West increases, to conserve open spaces that are a unique part of America’s heritage. As an integral part of the BLM’s multiple-use mission, conservation is a long-term investment that provides quality of life and economic benefits for current and future generations.

The system contains many of our Nation’s most treasured landscapes, including scientific, historic and cultural resources, wilderness and wilderness study areas, wild and scenic rivers, national monuments, national conservation areas, and scenic and historic trails, among others.

These lands are managed as an integral part of the larger landscape, in collaboration with the neighboring landowners and surrounding communities. The management objectives are to maintain biodiversity and promote ecological connectivity and resilience in the face of climate change. When consistent with the values for which they were designated, lands in the system may allow appropriate multiple uses, such as grazing, energy development and tourism.

Managers of the system recognize the importance of a diversity of viewpoints when considering management options. These nationally important landscapes are managed from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing upon the expertise of specialists throughout the BLM, and in coordination with the tribes, other Federal, state, and local government agencies, interested local landowners, adjacent communities, and other public and private interests.

The directorate will be called the National Landscape Conservation System and Community Partnerships. The Assistant Secretary – Land and Minerals Management is responsible for ensuring implementation of this Order within 120 days. This responsibility may be delegated, as appropriate.

The signing of the Secretarial Order followed Salazar’s remarks to a summit of the National Landscape Conservation System, attended by several hundred BLM officials and employees as well as non-government stakeholders and state and local representatives.

The Secretarial Order is available HERE.
The Secretary’s remarks are available HERE.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oklahoma vs. the West

The biggest piece of environmental legislation in decades -- the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 -- might have been "of 2008," or been passed in various forms even earlier, were it not for Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn.

The Omnibus Act bundled 164 conservation efforts into a massive package that designated 2 million acres of new wilderness and increased the wild and scenic river system by 50 percent. It helped enable buyouts of oil and gas leases in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest and ratified wilderness deals that were negotiated on the ground in Idaho's Owyhee County and Utah's Washington County. Many Western environmentalists, ranchers, county officials and other stakeholders were involved in creating the Omnibus.

But the act itself can be blamed on Coburn, which is why it's known around Capitol Hill as "Tomnibus." "What he did was put holds on virtually every bill that came out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee," says Paul Spitler, a high-ranking Wilderness Society staffer based in Washington, D.C. Coburn blocked so many individual bills in 2008 that supporters decided to lump them together into the omnibus package in early 2009, hoping to pass all 164 measures at once. They succeeded, but not without a fight.

At Coburn's insistence, the Omnibus Act was "read (on the Senate floor) until the wee hours of the morning, which dragged out the timeline for an extra day," says Spitler. "And at that point, he said, ‘OK, you guys can go home now.' "

Coburn again drew the ire of Western environmentalists in September, by holding up passage of five popular wildlife-protection bills, one of which -- the Crane Conservation Act -- was sponsored by a fellow Republican, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo. Oregon's Sen. Jeff Merkley, California's Sen. Barbara Boxer and Washington's Sen. Maria Cantwell -- all Western Democrats -- were also among the five bills' sponsors. Probably the most popular one would have banned the "animal crush videos" that Wayne Pacelle, head of the Humane Society of the United States, describes as "the vile depictions of staged scenes in which scantily clad women maim and torture animals for the sexual gratification of viewers." Coburn said those bills were a distraction at a time when the Senate should be addressing the deficit.

"One can understand Sen. Coburn's interest in fiscal restraint," Pacelle wrote in his Humane Society blog. "But in his case, it is an obsession, and it borders on a mania."

Stories like this justify Coburn's nickname, which plays off his medical degree and the name of the villain in an old James Bond movie: "Dr. No." And "No" might as well be the middle name of Oklahoma's other ultraconservative senator, James Mountain Inhofe. Both have used their Senate tenures largely for one purpose: Obstruction. They're effective advocates for the causes they believe in, slowing or stopping legislation and regulations they oppose. They've also attracted national attention by taking contrarian, often-controversial stances, and by giving a prominent voice to beliefs that are far out of the mainstream. They help give extremism credibility.

Inhofe has spent much of his career working to undermine or totally dismantle environmental protections. As chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee from 2003 to early 2007, he often held hearings that were more like kangaroo courts. In one 2003 hearing on climate change, he pitted two climate-change deniers against one scientist representing the mainstream view. That summer he held a similarly biased hearing on mercury pollution: A lone voice expressed the majority view that mercury is toxic and regulations are needed on the power plants that release 48 tons of airborne mercury every year, while two experts testified in favor of the opposite view. The Bush administration subsequently moved to dramatically weaken Clinton-era mercury regulations, a rollback later defeated in federal court.

Inhofe also opposes efforts to protect polar bears by limiting the carbon emissions that cause climate change, denouncing them as "an attack on our economy and our energy security." As a leading climate-change denier, he's worked to block any significant action on the problem, including the environmentalists' best hope -- the cap-and-trade bill that died earlier this year -- even as climate change threatens the West, contributing to drought, a forest beetle crisis and record-breaking wildfires.

Inhofe saves some of his hottest rage for the Environmental Protection Agency, which he's called "a Gestapo bureaucracy." In 2006, when EPA staffers based in Denver went into natural gas fields with infra-red cameras to detect pollution, Inhofe attacked the agency and tried to pressure the employees to back off. In 2009, he called for a criminal investigation into the EPA, charging it with suppressing evidence that climate change doesn't amount to much. "They've been cooking that science since 1998," he told Fox News.

"He seems to really have a long-term vendetta against the EPA," says Scott Thomasson, domestic policy director for the Progressive Policy Institute, a moderate left-of-center think tank. "(It's) so deeply ingrained at this point that he has a presumption of incompetence and malice about everything that they do."

Meanwhile, Coburn, a longtime friend of the National Rifle Association, used legislative trickery to make it legal to carry loaded guns in national parks, despite the strong opposition of the National Park Service. He slipped the amendment into the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2009.

Earlier this year, Coburn blocked Senate approval of a $3.4 billion payment to Native Americans to settle a class-action lawsuit over the Department of Interior's longtime mismanagement of mineral royalties on tribal lands. (That case is not yet settled.) In 2009, he tried to block Senate confirmation of Hilary Tompkins, a Stanford-educated New Mexico Navajo, as the top lawyer in Obama's Interior Department. (The Senate eventually confirmed Tompkins.) In 2008, he opposed a sweeping $35 billion improvement of the Indian Health Service, even though many Western senators of both parties backed it and a total of 83 senators voted for it.

Both of the Oklahoma senators strongly support the oil and gas industry. They've repeatedly backed federal subsidies and sought to increase drilling, including in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, while resisting tougher regulations, fuel efficiency and conservation measures. Inhofe led the fight to carve out an exemption in the Safe Drinking Water Act for "fracking" -- the high-pressure pumping of chemicals to free up natural gas in underground formations, a process many Westerners believe threatens water quality. This theme of the senators' influence is felt every day in Western states where drillers are constantly claiming more of the landscape.

According to the League of Conservation Voters, during his terms in the U.S. Senate and House, Coburn has voted against environmentalists' positions from 87 to 100 percent of the time, depending on which session you focus on. Inhofe has voted against environmentalists 96 to 100 percent of the time. That's another way the Oklahoma "nos" are heard around the West.