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For Immediate Release, March 18, 2013

Contact:  Bill Snape, (202) 536-9351

Polluters Using Congressional Budget Process to Push Keystone XL Pipeline,
Kill Climate Work, Harm Endangered Species Recovery

WASHINGTON— As the U.S. Senate grapples with must-pass budget and appropriations bills this week, polluters and their allies in Congress are pushing a series of amendments that will have destructive impacts on the environment. Among the measures expected to be discussed are a requirement to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline — a move that a top climate scientist says will mean “game over” for avoiding catastrophic effects of climate change.

The amendments also include, or are expected to include, ones that would eliminate funding for salmon recovery funding in the Pacific Northwest, prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from using the Clean Air Act to reduce damaging greenhouse pollution, cut significant funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for federal public lands, and eliminate ocean and coastal planning. 

“Polluters are in a feeding frenzy, trying to game the political system to maximize their profits at the expense of clean air, clean water, wildlife and a healthy climate,” said Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity. “These obscene power grabs by the oil, gas and coal industries have no place in what’s supposed to be rational debate over setting budget priorities for the nation.”

The Senate this week is scheduled to consider a continuing resolution (H.R. 933) to fund the federal government through the rest of fiscal year 2013 (ending Sept. 30, 2013) and the fiscal year 2014 federal budget. As in previous years, armies of industry lobbyists are desperately trying to insert additional measures unrelated to the budget or meaningful deficit reduction. 

“Few issues right now are more important to the health of our environment than Keystone XL and the deepening climate crisis. We’re counting on our senators not to sell out our future to these polluting industries whose only interest is fattening their profit margins,” Snape said.

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