House’s proposed Budget: The Environment Takes a Hard Hit

Last Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee released its version of the federal budget. With the expiration date on the current budget set to expire on March 4th, should this Continuing Resolution (CR) pass, it will carry the budget through to the end of the fiscal year. This legislation, also attempts to cut nearly $100 billion from the president’s 2011 fiscal year request, with the environment bearing the brunt of most of the proposed cuts.

This CR hits especially hard on various conditions of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts while clear cutting investments in public lands, wildlife conservation, and clean energy at the same time.

Included in this legislation, is a provision preventing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from closing loopholes in the execution of the Clean Water Act; endangering the drinking water for nearly 120 million Americans and allowing 20 million acres of wetlands and prime wildlife habitat to be destroyed by polluters and developers.

The proposed new provisions to the Clean Air Act are just as extreme. The passage of the bill would place an injunction on the EPA, requiring them to turn a blind eye to carbon dioxide pollution from smokestacks, in defiance of the Clean Air Act, a Supreme Court order, and sound science. All the while leaving untouched over $4 billion per year in subsidies for oil and gas companies; companies already raking in billions in annual profit.

These two issues are just the tip of the iceberg, to learn even more about the environmental and natural resource programs being severely affected by this proposal contact the National Wildlife Federation and write to your local Representative.