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House Approves Controversial Budget Plan

House approves amendments removing environmental protections for people, air, water and wildlife
February 19, 2011
Washington, D.C. —

By a vote of 235 to 189, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a spending plan that gives polluter industries a free pass to continue polluting our air and water. The plan also removes key fish and wildlife protections.

The following statement is from Martin Hayden, vice president of policy and legislation for Earthjustice:

“The spending bill that passed early this morning is a shameful statement on the state of corporate-bought-and-paid-for politics in the House of Representatives. Instead of slashing the excessive subsidies and offensive handouts to dirty energy industries, they have defunded the very programs that keep Americans safe and healthy.

“Public health received zero consideration by the new leadership of the very House that is supposed to be representing the people’s best interests. Instead, this bill steals from the essential agencies responsible for ensuring that our air is safe to breathe, our water is safe to drink, and our cherished lands and wildlife are protected.

“This bill turns critical drinking water supplies into dumping grounds for industrial polluters. It allows polluters to continue to spew their mercury pollution into our air and, dump their toxic coal ash in overburdened, low-income communities. It gives Big Coal free reign to blow up the mountains of Appalachia and allows polluters to turn Florida’s once-clear waters into poisonous blooms of green slime. It also takes aim at the recovery efforts for endangered salmon and will allow wolves to be slaughtered. Is this the country our elected leaders want for American citizens and our future children?

“If Congress were taken over by polluting industries this is exactly the type of bill we’d expect to see. These dirty industries have succeeded in getting their agenda passed by the House under the guise of cost cutting but these measures would be most costly to the nation and the public’s health if enacted into law.

“Not only does this spending bill stop any progress we’ve had in its tracks, it pushes the clock back. Our best hope is that the Senate will have the good sense to reject this unmitigated disaster that is attempting to masquerade as a serious legislative endeavor. It is time for the adults to take over.”

Contacts

Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 221; or (202) 841-7619 (cell)

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.