The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a 2018 budget. In response, Environment America D.C. Office Director Anna Aurilio issued the following statement:
“The just-passed House budget threatens the health of our environment and our families. It makes drastic cuts in some of the programs most vital to protecting America’s air and water and our families’ health. In addition, adding insult to injury, the House budget includes instructions to the House Natural Resources Committee aimed ultimately at allowing drilling in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
“A budget’s role is to define priorities. The priorities laid out by the U.S. House today mean our air and water will be dirtier, our families will be sicker, and at least one of our last wild landscapes will be ruined. This is the opposite of the priorities and values of most Americans.
“Specifically, the budget includes non-defense discretionary cuts of nearly $900 billion over the next ten years, which would mean that the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other departments and agencies will neither be able to protect our natural resources nor adequately protect our health.
“The Arctic Refuge is among America’s most iconic landscapes and one of our wildest public lands. This unparalleled landscape is home to muskoxen, wolves, imperiled polar bears, and nearly 200 species of migratory birds that migrate to six continents and all 50 states. The Refuge’s Coastal Plain is also the calving ground for the majestic Porcupine Caribou Herd.
“This is the wrong budget for our health and environment. It’s up to the U.S. Senate to craft a budget that will lead us to a cleaner, greener, healthier future.”