I Was Wrong

     I recently posted a ‘good news’ piece about the Obama administration’s intention to extend a ban on uranium mining on a million acres adjacent to the Grand Canyon.  The decision to protect one of the earth’s greatest treasures from the pollution of industrialization was hailed by environmentalists and by clean drinking water advocates and water utilities of southwestern cities.  

     But I’m afraid we’ll have to set down our champagne glasses.  The administration’s decision to protect the Grand Canyon may soon be buried deep beneath a tsunami environmentalists have dubbed “the Great Outdoors Giveaway.” 

     This giveway, also known as the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, FY 2012, is a corporate polluter’s dream come true.  And it’s a nightmare for wildlife and for those of us who care about maintaining the earth’s treasures for our children.  

     If passed, this appropriations bill would override that administration decision.  It would open up  those million acres adjacent to the Grand Canyon to uranium mining, along with millions of other now-protected acres to mining and other industrial activities.  

     But it gets worse. 

     This appropriations bill is loaded with special interest provisions that would:

  • enable the timber industry to pollute the waters of America’s national forestlands–lands that provide water for more than 60 million Americans.
  • Slash funds to the Legacy Roads and Trails program that has ensured forest watershed restoration and recreational access while protecting drinking water supplies and fisheries’ health.

     The bill even takes aim at modest federal efforts to address global warming.   Despite record-breaking drought, fires, and flooding, all of which are expected to worsen with climate change, Republican Members of Congress are using this appropriations bill as an opportunity to weaken the Environmental Protection Agency.  The bill would prohibit the EPA from acting to reduce the emissions that are driving extreme climate events.  And in what seems like sheer madness, the bill would even prohibit the EPA from following the accepted science of climate change!

     Additionally, this horrifying piece of legislation would cut $83 million in funding that could help our national parks, national forests, our wildlife refuges, and conservation lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management address the worst impacts of climate change.  

     Republicans in Congress have been working for quite some time to give wealthy corporate polluters a free hand to do as they please to increase their profits, without having to respect our natural treasures, not to mention the very air we breathe and the water we drink. 

     But this 2012 appropriations bill now making its way through the U.S.  House of Representatives is one of the worst onslaughts against the environment we have seen yet.  And it must be stopped.

     Many national environmental organizations are calling on citizens to contact their Member of Congress and to urge their Representative to defeat the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, FY 2012.

     You can help by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 201-224-3121.  Ask for the office of your Representative by name.  When you reach your Congressperson’s office, I suggest not leaving a voice message but rather asking to speak to the staff member who handles environmental issues.  And let that staff member know how strongly you feel that our environment must be protected, not degraded, that you want your Representative to speak out against this extremely damaging bill and to vote against it.–April Moore

 

  

    

2 Responses to “I Was Wrong”

  1. Gila Says:

    This is outrageous. I will make the call. Please explain if you can what the rationale for this bill might be. Is it simply to cut the budget?

  2. Joan Brundage Says:

    I know about this, April, and have signed numerous petitions to let my Arizona senators and reps know how damaging this bill is. This whole situation makes me very angry and very sad.

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