Jul 252011
 

The House of Representatives is debating the FY 2012 Interior and Environment appropriations bill. Subcommittee chairman Mike Simpson (R-Id.) has just finished speaking, and now, Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) has begun his statement.

(Editor's note: I was not able to watch Simpson, or I would have written about his comments. I will be posting audio of his and Moran's statements later today.)

Moran says the bill is filled with "extremist legislative riders" and "not much a spending bill as a wish list for special interests," such as the mining and cattle industries.

The bill is weighted in favor of the "extractors and exploiters and despoilers," Moran said. "The animals, the environment, the forests, the waterways--they all lose. This bill continues the majority's assault on the Environmental Protection Agency," he said, following a 16 percent cut in the current year's budget with a proposed reduction in of 18 percent.

Regarding the provision to shut down funding for ESA listings and critical habitat designations. Moran said 260 candidate species "are currently at risk of extinction. This bill attacks the very heart of the Endangered Species Act."

Wildlife grants are cut by tw0-thirds, he said, and Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation by 95 percent. Even the National Wildlife Refuge System has been cut, Moran said, by 7.5 percent.

The bill also cuts the Cooperative Landscape Conservation System, he said.

Energy and water appropriations

And now, a link to the THOMAS page with information on the Energy & Water spending bill approved by the House July 15. It has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Here's a copy of the House report from our site.

Not much on the regulatory program in the bill, simply this: "For expenses necessary for administration of laws pertaining to regulation of navigable waters and wetlands, $196,000,000, to remain available until expended." The report doesn't have much more. Here's the excerpt from the top of page 58:

REGULATORY PROGRAM

Appropriation, 2011 ............................................................................ $189,620,000
Budget estimate, 2012 ........................................................................  196,000,000
Recommended, 2012 ..........................................................................  196,000,000

Comparison:

Appropriation, 2011 .................................................................... +6,380,000
Budget estimate, 2012 ................................................................                   —

This appropriation provides funds to administer laws pertaining to the regulation of activities affecting U.S. waters, including wetlands, in accordance with the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899, the Clean Water Act, and the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. Appropriated funds are used to review and process permit applications, ensure compliance on permitted sites, protect important aquatic resources, and support watershed planning efforts in sensitive environmental areas in cooperation
with states and local communities.

The Committee recommends an appropriation of $196,000,000, $6,380,000 above fiscal year 2011 and the same as the budget request.