Nathan Willcox,
Environment America

Americans Escape Worst Attacks on Public Health and Environment in Government Funding Bill

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The most egregious proposed attacks on America’s environment and public health were left out of the final omnibus spending bill that Congress and the White House agreed to today, though the final bill did include several unacceptable and dangerous measures.

Environment America’s Global Warming Program Director, Nathan Willcox, issued the following statement:   

“President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders deserve credit for protecting America’s health and environment by keeping the most extreme anti-environmental measures out of this deal.  Proposals to advance the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and allow industrial facilities to spew toxic mercury into our air should not be advanced at all in Congress—much less as amendments to an unrelated must-pass spending bill.  Environment America applauds the White House and Democratic congressional leaders for beating back these attacks.

“Still, we are extremely disappointed that Congress inexplicably took America’s energy future a step backward by repealing energy efficiency standards for light bulbs.  These common-sense standards would cut pollution and save Americans money—and they even passed with industry support and a large bipartisan majority in 2007.

"Environment America is also disappointed that Congress caved to Big Oil’s agenda by exempting Arctic drilling from critical Clean Air Act standards.

“Congress also did a huge disservice to more than 66 million Americans who depend on National Forests for their drinking water, by exempting the logging industry from critical Clean Water Act pollution limits.

 “Moving forward, the White House and Democratic congressional leaders should continue to stand strong and reject renewed efforts by polluters and their allies in Congress to attack our environment—most notably the advancement of the Keystone XL pipeline—to the payroll tax package and other bills.”