We wouldn’t allow mining in the Grand Canyon … would we?
Debt ceiling proposals not so eco-friendly
The GOP has nearly 40 anti-environmental proposals in its debt plan. We parse through five of the most significant items.
1. Delay in carbon regulation
It’s hard to reduce the amount of carbon pollution in our atmosphere if you can’t regulate emissions from “stationary sources.” Yet, that is what Section 431 of the bill would do.
2. Oil companies don’t have to comply with Clean Air Act requirements
Section 443 of the Republican proposal includes a directive to amend the Clean Air Act in a few ways.
3. GOP gives green light to mountaintop removal mining
Of the 39 GOP proposals that take aim at the environment, two of them make it easier for mountaintop removal mining to continue.
4. Wild lands order put on hold
In December 2010, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that the government would designate millions of acres in the American West as “Wild Lands.” This would allow the Bureau of Land Management to manage these acres, but Section 124 calls for essentially sticking a knife in the Salazar plan once and for all.
5. Grand Canyon to be opened for uranium mining
As if the views of the Grand Canyon weren’t glowing enough, Republicans in the House want it to be a beacon of uranium production. Section 455 of their appropriations bill would prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from implementing a land withdrawal to protect the Grand Canyon from new uranium mining claims.
Luckily, there’s little chance that all the proposals will be approved by the Senate, which Democrats control. In fact, one measure — to forbid the Fish and Wildlife Service to list any new plants or animals as endangered — was so extreme that 37 Republicans broke ranks Wednesday and voted to strip it from the bill.
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