Grijalva on Congress Overturning Obama-era Rules: “Republicans Have Put the Health & Wellbeing of Everyday Americans in Jeopardy”
Washington, D.C. – As of today, Congress can no longer use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn Obama-era rules. The Republican-controlled Congress successfully voted to overturn thirteen rules issued under the Obama administration and President Trump signed them into law. House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) points out that nearly a quarter of the rules were blatant attacks on our environment.
“On our very first day in Congress, House Republicans gave us a glimpse into their extremist, anti-environmental agenda by changing the rules to make it even easier to give away our public lands,” Grijalva said. “In their short time in charge, Republicans have put the health and wellbeing of everyday Americans in jeopardy by opening the door for wealthy oil, gas, and coal donors to pollute our air and water, put our wildlife at risk of extinction and undermined our most important natural places.”
“Republicans have successfully used the obscure and ham-handed CRA process – a process that had been used successfully only once, prior to this administration – three times to overturn commonsense environmental protections that had safeguarded our environment and the American people. It’s shameful that Republicans routinely vote in favor of handouts to oil and gas companies, instead of taking care of their constituents.”
President Trump has greenlighted construction of two harmful pipelines, eliminated crucial protections to keep our air and water clean, and threatened our public lands all within his first few months in office. The President can be blamed for many of the deliberate attacks on our environment, but he hasn’t acted alone. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and his Republican allies in Congress have been working behind the scenes to push their anti-environmental and climate-denier agenda.
In just a little over 50 days, House Republicans have taken actions that put everyday American’s health and welfare in danger. The following is a list of their blatant attacks on our environment, wildlife and public lands:
The air we breathe is at greater risk of dangerous pollution.
- Bishop championed a bill that would increase methane pollution, dirtying our air and making our children sick.
Access to clean waterways and drinking water is being threatened.
- Companies can now dump coal waste into our waterways, contaminating our drinking water.
- Committee Republicans continue to ignore climate change as a threat to critical water infrastructure projects.
- Committee Republicans pushed legislation that waives environmental safeguards for water projects, ignoring the root causes of our crumbling infrastructure - lack of funding.
Wildlife is under attack, and species are being driven to extinction.
- Unsportsmanlike slaughter of wildlife, including killing of cubs, aerial shooting, and baiting, is now legal on Alaskan national wildlife refuges.
- Committee Republicans pushed to weaken the Endangered Species Act, the strongest law we have to protect wildlife. Chairman Bishop misled the public when he said that the act “has never been used for the rehabilitation of species.”
- Under the guise of promoting infrastructure, Committee Republicans want to permit trading in illegally taken plants and wildlife in some cases.
Our public lands are being undermined.
- It is now easier to give away public lands, as it is no longer required to take land transfer costs into account.
- Bishop wants a $50 million transfer of public lands to states, which would allow for risky oil and gas development.
- Reverting to an antiquated decision-making process puts public lands at greater risk from harmful oil and gas interests.
- Committee Republicans attacked marine monuments, and they are weakening the Antiquities Act, which has been used to protect millions of acres of land and water.
Media Contact: Diane Padilla
(202) 225-6065 or (202) 306-1333 (cell)
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