Sunday, December 25, 2011

New Congressional report says current Congress most anti-environmental in history

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- A new Congressional report documents the anti-environment record of the First Session of the 112th U.S. House of Representatives.*

It confirms that the 2011 House of Representatives is the most anti-environment House in the history of Congress and highlights House Republicans’ unrelenting assault on basic environmental protections that have existed for decades. The House has averaged more than one anti-environmental vote for every day it was in session during 2011.

The following statement -- issued Dec. 15, 2011 -- is from Martin Hayden, Earthjustice Vice President of Policy and Legislation:

"Earthjustice commends Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Edward Markey (D-MA), and Howard Berman (D-CA) for their stunning and thorough report that underscores the breadth and scope of the House of Representatives’ year-long assault on clean air, clean water, public health, public lands and very future of our planet. The report’s findings are simply breathtaking. Under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), the House has voted 191 times to weaken or obliterate environmental protections. Twenty-two percent of all floor votes taken this year have been targeted at denying Americans environmental protections they have long supported. Just this week, Speaker Boehner continued playing political games with our children’s health by burying a provision in the House-passed tax bill to indefinitely delay a long overdue standard to clean up toxic air emissions, including mercury, from industrial boilers and incinerators. The boilers rider would cause thousands of Americans to die unnecessarily every year, and thousands more to suffer serious and debilitating illness."

The report includes examples of Congressional votes and legislation on such topics as blocking efforts to prevent climate change; undermining the Clean Air Act; undermining the Clean Water Act; removing protections for public lands, fish and wildlife; weakening safety requirements for offshore drilling; cutting support for clean energy technologies and programs; allowing unsafe disposal of toxic coal ash; curtailing review of the Keystone XL Pipeline; reducing funding for environmental protection; and obstructing the regulatory process.

* Click here to access this Dec. 15, 2011, report by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Minority Staff.

Editor's Notes: This press release from Earthjustice was forwarded to Keweenaw Now by the Northwood Alliance, Conover, Wis.

Earthjustice update: "On December 21, 2011, the Obama administration issued the first-ever limits on power plants' emissions of mercury, arsenic and other toxic pollutants. Earthjustice played a critical role in achieving these critical protections."

Click here for the Earthjustice Dec. 21, 2011, press release.

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