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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ten Least Wanted Provisions Of The Interior And Environment Appropriations Bill

Ten Least Wanted Provisions Of The Interior And Environment Appropriations Bill

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July 27, 2011
The Interior and Environment spending bill proposed by House Republicans is currently being debated on the floor of the House. The bill represents the worst assault on clean air, clean water and public lands and health in the history of Congress. Below are the ten provisions in the bill least wanted by the American people, released by the Democratic staff of the Natural Resources Committee, led by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.):
  1. Waves the white flag on gas prices and oil imports. The bill bars the EPA from continuing with the aggressive fuel efficiency standards that will save consumers money and encourage American automotive entrepreneurs to develop the newest gas-saving technologies.
  2. Tells Americans "don't sweat the heat waves." Stops the EPA for one year from taking action to reduce heat-trapping pollution from power plants, oil refineries and other polluting facilities.
  3. Puts sewage and pesticides in our drinking water. Slashes EPA's funding by 18 percent, including a 55 percent cut for a clean water program that helps states maintain and improve sewage-treatment plants for drinking water. Allows for unregulated dumping of pesticides into America's waterways.
  4. Allows radioactive uranium mines to be built around the Grand Canyon. Opens up 1 million acres of land for uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. The glow of a canyon sunset may now include nuclear fuel radiation.
  5. Tells fans of National Parks and forests to "take a hike". Cuts the Interior Department budget by 7 percent, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund by 81 percent, which is used to create and protect national parks, forests, refuges, and public land in states.
  6. More mercury and arsenic for the kids. Stops EPA from reducing mercury and other toxic pollution emitted by power plants and cement plants, and prevents coal byproducts from being classified as hazardous materials.
  7. More giveaways for oil companies. Prevents federal oil rig inspectors from charging inspection fees for the service, reducing the safety agency's ability to hire more staff to permit drilling and ensure it is safe.  Waves clean air rules for oil companies drilling off our shores.
  8. Won't let polar bears (or other animals) be protected. Want to protect an endangered  species from extinction? Good luck. This bill prevents new listings of animals on the list or designating habitat critical for endangered animals' survival.
  9. Snooty about soot limits. The GOP bill would block public health protections on soot pollution - the pollution most familiar in chimneys - which gets stuck in lungs, especially harming kids and seniors.
  10. Mining companies not responsible for their mayhem. Keeps the EPA from requiring mining companies to have adequate insurance to clean up their messes. This would leave American taxpayers holding the bill for billions in clean up costs at hardrock mining sites across the country.

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