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For Immediate Release, March 22, 2013

Contact:  Bill Snape, (202) 536-9351

Senate Republicans Push Slew of Backdoor Budget Amendments Attacking Protections for
Climate, Land and Endangered Species

WASHINGTON— Senate Republicans are pushing more than 100 amendments to the budget resolution undermining protections for the nation’s air, land, wildlife and public. They include amendments to stop regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and slash funding for protection of native wildlife under the Endangered Species Act, which would place hundreds of animals and plants at risk of extinction.

“Senate Republicans are once again pandering to powerful special interests at the expense of wildlife, our climate and a healthy environment for people,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s ugly to see so many politicians doing so much to try to dismantle crucial environmental laws.”

Senator James Inhofe (R.-Okla.), for example, seeks to prohibit any “further greenhouse gas regulations for the purposes of addressing climate change.”

Senator John Cornyn (R.-Texas) seeks to severely reduce funding for protection of species under the Endangered Species Act — species that have long been recognized as needing such protection, including spectacular, comical birds called lesser prairie chickens, threatened by oil and gas development, and four rare salamanders that live near the city of Austin.

Senator John Hoeven (R.-N.D.) is pushing an amendment to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would deepen the world’s fossil fuel dependence, worsening the climate crisis and putting water, land and wildlife at risk.

Other amendments would cut regulations on the oil and gas industry, curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect our air and water, and make it harder for citizens to use the legal system to enforce environmental laws.

“This is a cynical ploy to use the budget process to undermine some of our most environmental protections,” said Suckling. “The American public overwhelmingly supports protection of our native wildlife and wild places, and doesn’t want to see end runs around lifesaving environmental laws.” 

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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