House Energy and Water Bill Would Hurt Wildlife and Cost America Jobs

Bill slashes conservation investments far below the already-deep cuts agreed to under the Budget Control Act

06-06-2012 // Miles Grant
Capitol building

The U.S. House of Representatives today is expected to pass the 2013 energy and water appropriations bill (H.R. 5325).

Josh Saks, legislative director of the National Wildlife Federation, said today:

If this bill were to become law, it would be a major step backwards both for America’s economy and its wildlife. The House bill slashes conservation investments far below the already-deep cuts agreed to under the Budget Control Act, making drastic cuts to many clean energy, energy efficiency and vehicle technologies programs that are creating jobs and cutting our carbon pollution and oil dependence. Even worse, the bill includes a measure blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from taking steps to reduce pollution in drinking water supplies that millions of Americans depend on and to protect wetlands, lakes, rivers and streams vital to sustaining hunting and fishing opportunities.

“While there are a few bright spots like additional investments to restore the Mississippi River Delta and the Florida Everglades, this bill misses the mark. At a time when our economy is hurting, investments in projects to improve clean water resources can put Americans back to work while protecting wildlife and public health.”

As the National Wildlife Federation detailed in its October 2011 Conservation Works report, Congress has targeted conservation investments that help sustain millions of jobs across America while continuing to give billions of dollars in wasteful subsidies to the oil, gas and mining industries.

A Fallon Research and Communications poll released Tuesday shows 68 percent of Ohio voters support an expansive reading of the Clean Water Act, allowing the EPA to protect small streams and wetlands, backing up a Hart Research Associates poll released last week showing similar support in both Ohio and Colorado.

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