The Senate just passed their budget resolution for 2018. In response, Jennie Olson at Environment America, issued the following statement:
“The Senate budget makes drastic cuts to some of our most vital programs that protect our air, water, and families’ health. In addition, the Senate budget attempts to sell out our public lands to polluters by including instructions to the Senate Natural Resources Committee that would ultimately allow drilling in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
“The Federal budget should reflect our nation’s priorities, but the budget passed by the U.S. Senate today means that our air and water will be dirtier, our families will be sicker, and at least one of our last wild landscapes will be destroyed. This runs against 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 not be able to adequately protect our health, environment, and special places.
“Adding insult to injury, the Senate’s budget also threatens to destroy the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of America’s wildest, most unspoiled public lands. This iconic landscape is home to imperiled polar bears, wolves, muskoxen, and nearly 200 species of migratory birds that migrate to all 50 states. For decades, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska has stood as a symbol of our nation’s strong natural legacy. However, the Senate’s budget now leaves the Arctic Refuge to face irreversible damage from oil and gas drilling, just so corporate polluters can make a profit.
“This is the wrong budget for our health, environment, and kids. With the strong support of the American public, we must fight to ensure that this short-sighted provision to authorize oil and gas development in the iconic Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is not a part of any final budget reconciliation package. We need Congress to oppose any future budget bill that endangers the Arctic Refuge and neglects proper funding for our critical environmental programs.”