Washington, D.C. – Early this morning, the U.S. Senate voted for increased resources for our parks and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund which protects the best of our natural heritage from overdevelopment and pollution. The Senate also rejected polluter-friendly measures to block the clean-up of global warming (amendment #359) and mercury pollution (amendment #514), but voted to advance the dirty Keystone XL tar sands pipeline (amendment #494). All of these measures, offered as amendments to the Senate budget resolution, were non-binding, as was the underlying budget resolution itself.
Anna Aurilio, director of Environment America’s Washington, D.C. office, issued the following statement in response:
“Protecting our parks, tackling global warming and saving children from mercury pollution should all be no-brainers. When it came to keeping threats away from beloved parks from Yosemite to the Great Smokey Mountains and defending our progress cleaning up dangerous mercury and global warming pollution, the U.S. Senate chose the environment and our health over polluters’ interests.
“But we’re extremely disappointed that the Senate voted in favor of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which would facilitate the reckless extraction of one of the most carbon-rich deposits on the planet.”
“This past year – the hottest year on record in the U.S. – global warming fueled extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy, the worst drought since the Dust Bowl, and wildfires that raged in the West. We can’t afford any major steps backwards on combating the carbon pollution fueling global warming.
“We thank those senators who voted against these attacks on our health and environment, and hope the Senate will do more to advance the real solutions to our most pressing environmental challenges.”