by Audrey Fleming
Since the approval of the budget on Feb. 9, Congress began writing the dozen appropriations bills that are likely to be apart of one giant spending measure. In 2015, the Obama administration adopted a landmark rule aimed to increase protections for smaller streams and wetlands, which are crucial to the country’s drinking water and wildlife; the bill basically restated the Clean Water Act of 1972. Farmers complained to Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA and he is now working on an alternative option to appeal to more commercial interests. The Obama Administration approved two rules to decrease emissions of methane; the EPA would regulate emissions from oil and gas wells; the Interior Department would require oil and gas companies to control venting and flaring from existing wells on public lands. The House and Senate have made attempts to rewrite these rules, which could extremely effect clean air and climate. The Sage grouse, a bird who’s numbers are decreasing, who are being denied endangered species protections from the House and Senate. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke believes that this plan is too kind to the bird and too harmful for the oil and gas companies, therefore he wants to end it. Lisa Murkowski, chairwoman of the Senate interior and environment appropriations subcommittee, is looking to propose an amendment that would weaken protections against the destruction of trees in the Tongass National Forest.
What will be the cost to our environment if these proposals are passed? How badly is our climate, air quality and water access going to decrease? Our environment is at risk under these proposals by our lawmakers. In all the effects of the Obama Administration to help the environment, it is troubling that all of that could be taken away.
“The Dirty Little Deals That Would Foul the Environment.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 19 Feb. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/02/19/opinion/republican-environment-policy.html.