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For Immediate Release, July 6, 2011

Contact: Bill Snape, (202) 536-9351

House Spending Bill Halts Protections for Species, Rewards Polluters,
Kills Ban on Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon

WASHINGTON— An appropriations bill proposed today in the U.S. House of Representatives gave fresh evidence of the House majority’s open hostility to environmental protection. The bill, released by subcommittee chairman Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), would halt any new listing protections for any endangered species or their critical habitat, allow Endangered Species Act protections to be stripped for gray wolves in several states without scientific review, exempt big polluters from greenhouse gas pollution limits, speed up dangerous offshore drilling in the Arctic and kill a proposed ban on new uranium mining on 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon.

“House Republicans are in a feeding frenzy, gorging themselves on anti-conservation legislation that will be a disaster for wildlife, clean air and water, and healthy landscapes across the United States,” said Bill Snape, senior counsel with the Center for Biological Diversity.

The proposed Department of the Interior appropriations bill will have far-reaching effects on a sweeping range of environmental protections that the department oversees. The bill — which does nothing to eliminate massive subsidies to favored extraction industries — includes provisions to:

* Eliminate funding for listing imperiled species as threatened or endangered, or for designating “critical habitat” protections under the Endangered Species Act;
* Allow wolves in Wyoming and in the Great Lakes region to lose Endangered Species Act protection without proper scientific analysis and federal oversight;
* Force the Environmental Protection Agency to stop all work limiting carbon dioxide pollution from power plants, refineries and other large pollution sources;
* Stop more than 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon from being protected from new uranium mines;
* Halt efforts under the Clean Water Act from protecting human health and endangered species from pesticides;
* Interfere with the Environmental Protect Agency’s work to protect the public from toxic coal ash;
* Hinder the EPA’s and U.S. Corps of Engineers’ work to protect wetlands and other waters of the United States;
* Expedite air-pollution permits for offshore drilling in the Arctic;
* Open the door for additional livestock grazing on public lands, harming bighorn sheep and other wildlife;
* Overturn a court decision that protected national forests from actions that damage stream and river water quality.

“This bill is a house of horrors for anyone who values a sensible approach to protecting wildlife and the environment,” Snape said. “Americans are counting on the Senate to take a more reasoned approach and do what’s right in this spending bill.”

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