Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Federal Budget Deal Strips Protection from Water, Wild Lands, Wolves

Conservationists are angered and disappointed by the deal struck between Congress and the Obama administration to authorize the federal budget for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year. Protection for clean water, for wild lands, and for endangered wolves will be lost if the continuing budget resolution is enacted as it now stands. "The latest agreement between Congressional leaders and President Obama decimates water protections," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the nonprofit Food and Water Watch. The budget agreement for the six month fiscal year 2011 Continuing Resolution announced yesterday includes a $997 million cut to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds as compared to FY2010, and a $797 million cut as compared to the President's FY2011 request, Hauter explained. The continuing resolution also includes a provision that bars the Interior Department from spending any money on implementing the Obama administration's Wild Lands policy, announced in December. The resolution would prohibit funds from being spent to implement, administer, or enforce Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's order to designate new federal areas as wild lands. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska today said she backs the budget resolution's provision. "Congress has sole authority to create new wilderness areas. Any attempt to try an end run around Congress will get a predictable response," said Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. "Moving forward, I would encourage the Interior Department to work not around, but with Congress."...more

No comments: