Today, the White House released a statement pledging to veto the House of Representatives 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, and any bill that presents anti-environmental policy riders beyond the scope of the legislation.
From the White House statement:
“If the President is presented with a bill that undermines ongoing conservation, public health, and environmental protection efforts through funding limits or restrictions, his senior advisors would recommend he veto the bill.”
The following is a statement from Earthjustice Policy and Legislation Vice President Marty Hayden:
“We praise the Obama administration for not only calling out the House’s 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill for its disastrous funding cuts to our environmental safeguards, but also for its offensive inclusion of anti-environmental policy riders unrelated to funding or budget.
“The White House is absolutely right to call out this bill’s outrageous funding cuts, which would gut the essential environmental and public health programs that keep Americans healthy and safe. But where the Obama administration really gets it right is in its promise to veto any legislation that is attempting to carry unrelated political and ideological provisions, or ‘riders,’ that undermine our critical environmental protections.
“The House 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill has so many anti-environmental riders—38 and counting at the moment—that this bill is not as much a piece of spending legislation as it is a written contract guaranteeing a major public health and environmental disaster in America.
“This bill, riddled with its shameless loopholes and giveaways for big polluters and other special interests, is the biggest assault on our air, water, wildlife, and treasured places we have seen in recent history.
“Among some of the most egregious provisions in the bill are riders to block Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health protections that would control toxic air pollution from power plants, saving the lives of 51,000 people annually and saving $420 billion in annual health costs; riders to tie the EPA’s hands when it comes to protecting communities from water pollution; and riders to block the EPA from adopting regulations of toxic coal ash waste that harms the health of millions of Americans. Other provisions would further threaten imperiled species and iconic places such as the Grand Canyon.
“We thank the White House for standing up for our environment and public health in this strong statement today and urge the President to continue his leadership in defending our important environmental safeguards.”