House Reps Attempting to Dismantle the EPA

Posted: Aug 25, 2011

Written by

RICHARD GARRETT JR., Wyoming Outdoor Council

With so much dust kicked up over the debt-ceiling debate it's been easy for partisan interests to obscure the mischief that the Republican controlled House Committee on Appropriations has been up to.

With the passage of H.R.2584, the Interior and Environmental Appropriations Bill, the U.S. House of Representatives will now be given the opportunity to strip from law and regulation any number of environmental protections as well as the people’s right to bring action against federal agencies.

Among other things, this bill clearly shows that the majority party in the House is intent on dismantling the EPA.

This is part of a larger trend. As The New York Times reported on August 17, bashing the EPA has become a favorite theme in the G.O.P race for the presidential nomination.
Riders on the Storm

Following is a summary of some of the riders to the appropriations bill that the ranking minority member, Representative Jim Moran, called “a wish list for special interests.”

Blocks Modification of Clean Water Act [Sec. 435]: Prohibits the EPA from changing or supplementing guidance or rules related to the scope of the Clean Water Act. This one is all about hydraulic fracturing and industry’s efforts to avoid its responsibilities to do everything in its power to make sure it’s not contaminating our nation’s groundwater resources.

Blocks EPA Regulation of Hard Rock Mining Operations [Section 455]: Prohibits funding for the EPA to develop additional financial assurance requirements for hard rock mining operations. Why shouldn’t a hard rock mine operator be required to provide adequate financial assurances? These are big and messy operations that require a lot of capital to develop, operate, and clean up. Just imagine how much more profitable they could be if they didn’t have to do the last item on that list … that must be what the committee had to imagine, too.

More at the Wyoming Outdoor Council.

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