A pre-Christmas bill contains some bad tidings for the environment. Republicans had an extortion list to avert a government shutdown that included blocking environmental protections. The so called Cromnibus bill, narrowly passed in the House with a vote 219 to 206, it will keep the government running until next September. The $1.01 trillion, 1,603-page spending bill is chalked full of pork including a number of anti-environment provisions.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and many of her colleagues were particularly displeased with two attached riders that would significantly increase the ceiling for political donations from wealthy patrons while scaling back the Dodd Frank Wall Street reform act designed to reign-in the kind of Wall Street activity that sparked the financial crisis of 2008.
“This is ransom, this is blackmail,” Pelosi said. “We don’t get a bill unless Wall Street gets its taxpayer-funded coverage.” Similarly, it could also be said that Americans were permitted to keep their running government running by allowing Republicans to whittle away at environmental protections.
As extrapolated from a Climate Progress article, here are some of the worst.
Cutting Environmental Protection Agency Funding
Under the bill, EPA funding would be cut by 60 million compared to last year. This will force a staff cutback that will would hamper the EPA’s ability to do its work including enforcing basic health protections and cleaning up Superfund sites.
Preventing Funding To The Green Climate Fund
The bill explicitly states that “no funds may be made available for the Green Climate Fund,” Green Climate Funds are designed to help developing nations deal with the impacts of climate change.
Fossil Fuel Development Kills Endangered Species Research
The bill prevents federal funds from being used to determine the eligibility status of two species of sage grouse (the Gunnnisan and the greater) under the Endangered Species Act. The real issue here is drilling and fracking on land used by the sage grouse. The Gunnison sage grouse was listed as “threatened” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last month, but the agency originally had until next September to figure out a listing for the greater sage grouse Denying scientific study precludes their listing as endangered species and invites fossil fuel development.
Finance of Coal-Fired Power Plants at the Expense Renewable Energy Abroad
The spending bill would opens the door to finance for coal power plants abroad In effect the provision allows for the export of carbon pollution at the expense of sustainable, clean energy for developing countries.
Prohibiting Regulations On Light Bulb Efficiency
The bill prevents government from funding efforts to “implement or enforce” standards for light bulb efficiency.
Blocking Regulation of Lead Ammunition
The bill includes a provision that would prohibit federal funds going toward regulation of lead in ammunition and fishing. Lead in bullets and fishing tackle are harmful to birds and other animals.
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Cromnibus Bill Foreshadows the GOP’s Legislative Agenda
Republicans Pass Anti-Science Bill in the House
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Republican Ignorance and the Latest IPCC Report
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