Weekly News Roundup – June 23, 2011
National Wildlife Federation’s offices are closed tomorrow, so here is an early a recap of the week’s National Wildlife Federation news:
June 23, 2011 – After passing through subcommittee last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation, H.R. 1938, today that forces the Obama administration to make a decision on the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by November. The committee has passed numerous pro-polluter bills that are unlikely to get traction on the other side of Capitol Hill. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), whose state is among those on the proposed pipeline’s path, has predicted it will not move in the Senate.
June 22, 2011 – Lawmakers in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee launched a legislative assault on the Clean Water Act as they passed H.R. 2018, a bill to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from curbing water pollution, reducing the destruction of wetlands and the harmful impacts of mountaintop removal mining. The bill, sponsored by Chairman John Mica (R-FL) and ranking member Nick Rahall (D-WV), will restrict Clean Water Act protections and dramatically weaken the federal-state partnership that has been protecting America’s waters since 1972.
June 21, 2011 – Without a hearing or public discussion, the Senate Agriculture Committee today voted to strip states and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of their fundamental responsibility to protect our nation’s waters from toxic pesticides. H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, weakens the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act to prohibit state and federal authorities from requiring a permit for the discharge of pesticides in waterways.
The Supreme Court issued its ruling today in American Electric Power vs. Connecticut (pdf), deciding Congress and the EPA already have authority under the Clean Air Act to make rules regulating global warming pollution and that courts need not get involved. “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court may have foreclosed (for now) the possibility of states using federal common law to seek carbon pollution limits on some of our country’s dirtiest coal power plants, but it also has revealed a significant shift in the view of the Court’s conservative justices on climate science and how the U.S. can tackle the problem,” said Joe Mendelson, global warming policy director for the National Wildlife Federation.
And here are highlights from NWF in the News:
Pocono Record: Beware Ongoing Mercury Pollution in Air, Water
Politico: High court backs EPA on emissions
The Tennessean: Nature Center Has Camping Lessons