Weekly News Roundup – July 15, 2011

from Wildlife Promise

Want to know what National Wildlife Federation was up to this week? Here is a recap of the week’s National Wildlife Federation news:

Legislating in the Dark: Latest House Vote Attacks Water, Clean Energy and Light Bulbs

July 15 – The House of Representatives voted to further dismantle America’s clean water and clean energy future by passing H.R. 2354, the Energy & Water Development Appropriations Act of 2012. The bill blocks the Army Corps of Engineers from updating Clean Water Act guidance that would bring greater clarity to the law and better protect our rivers, lakes and streams. H.R. 2354 also stalls restoration of the Everglades and other Great Waters, which offer huge water quality, habitat and economic benefits to the nation.

Bipartisan ‘No Child Left Inside’ Act Will Foster Innovation

July 14 – The Elementary and Secondary Education Act was passed in 1965, authorizing state-managed, federally funded education programs as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s suite of poverty-reduction policies. Thirty-seven years later it was reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act under President George W. Bush, who sought to define core common educational standards for the purposes of national assessment.

Now, under the leadership of Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), Congressman John Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and others, a bipartisan movement is underway to amend that far-reaching act because it still doesn’t touch one of the most crucial areas of all—the outdoors.

Oil Pipelines Unsafe, Congress Must Improve Safety Shortcoming NWF Tells House Panel

July 14 – In the wake of yet another tragic oil spill, NWF Senior Scientist Doug Inkley did his best to impress upon a House pipelines subcommittee that spills are far too frequent and better pipeline safety legislation is urgently needed.

“Montana’s people, fish, and wildlife didn’t deserve this oil spill in the Yellowstone River, but they do deserve a better response from ExxonMobil and the federal government,” Dr. Inkley testified in a hearing that included testimony from Exxon and the government’s chief pipeline safety official.

Dirty Politics, Dirty Water: House Trashes Clean Water Act to Help Pad Polluter Profits

July 13 – The Clean Water Act is under unprecedented assault during this Congress, and today the House of Representatives launched the biggest and most outrageous attack yet. Lawmakers passed H.R. 2018, the “Dirty Water Act,” which undermines Clean Water Act safeguards and the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to do its job and keep our waters clean and healthy.

New Report: States’ Actions on the Great Lakes Compact Are Good, Bad and Ugly

July 12 – Halfway through efforts to implement the Great Lakes Compact, a new report by the National Wildlife Federation provides an honest critique of the states’ progress:  the good, the bad, and the ugly.

“This report is a wake-up call to the states to step it up,” said Marc Smith, senior policy manager for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center. “The future of the Compact remains bright, but our Great Lakes need a renewed commitment by the states and the region to address the bad—and prevent the ugly.”

Congress Votes for Much-Needed Reforms to National Flood Insurance Program

July 12 – With hurricane season well underway and the remnants of severe floods still troubling many river communities in the country’s midsection, it is difficult to ignore the risks out-of-control waters pose to all Americans. Recently, the House of Representatives voted to reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), advancing measures that will better protect people, property and the environment. H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011, removes incentives for risky developments in flood prone and environmentally sensitive areas, applies market-based rates to flood insurance to further mitigate risk and provides technical and financial assistance to help lessen damage and protect natural features.

House Spending Bill Halts Endangered Species Listing, Blocks Clean Water Protections, Guts Clean Air Act

July 14 – The House Appropriations Committee this week passed its fiscal year 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. According to NWF’s Adam Kolton, “the policy riders and extreme cuts in this proposal mark a radical departure from America’s longstanding national commitment to protecting the air we breathe and the water we drink. Our families will bear the costs, while polluters will reap the profits.”

The bill slashes investments for agencies charged with providing clean water, protecting public health, and safeguarding wildlife. This includes an 18% cut in investments for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a 7% cut in investments for the Department of Interior.

And here are highlights from NWF in the News:

For more, visit www.nwf.org/News