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11/19/2004

Pillaging in the Omnibus Spending Bill

Man, Republican Senators have loaded this spending bill with some egregious environmental riders. They want to:

  • "exempt large livestock and dairy farms from some environmental laws;"

  • "provide billions of dollars for Army Corps of Engineers water projects...to avoid the "hang-ups" over policy issues that prevented them from passing earlier;"

  • "authorize a land exchange to allow oil drilling on what is now part of the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska;"

  • "lift a wilderness designation from Georgia's Cumberland Island, opening the largest undeveloped island on the East Coast to commercial development;"

  • "allow commercial fish hatcheries and stocking in protected wilderness areas, national parks and wildlife areas in Alaska;"

  • "exclude grazing permit renewals in national forests from the need for environmental reviews;"

  • "exempt "biological processes" at agriculture operations from requirements of the Superfund law and the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act...to protect large dairy and livestock businesses from lawsuits now in the courts that could require them to publicly report emissions of toxic air pollutants such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide from their manure pits."
They appear to have backed off proposals to weaken the Endangered Species Act by "exempt[ing] pesticide users from Endangered Species Act rules" and guaranteeing developers "that once the federal government agreed how much land could be developed and how much must be left undeveloped to protect an endangered plant or animal, it would not rethink its plan."

The Republicans are literally favoring shit over the American people. Is this what a "mandate" means?

 

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