Wednesday, June 13, 2018

GOP lawmakers warn environmental activist lawsuits could help America's adversaries

House Republicans warned Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday that lawsuits filed against the Pentagon by environmental advocacy groups in the U.S. may be unwittingly helping America’s adversaries, particularly China. A letter sent by members of the House Committee on Natural Resources warned that “while some lawsuits represent sincere and justified concerns about the effect of federal actions on the environment, others may be maliciously filed to stop, restrict, delay, or impose additional costs on U.S. military activities.” Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., pointed specifically to U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region, noting the military has faced lawsuits dating back decades alleging environmental violations. They wrote that the Navy has been restricted in testing and training due to litigation, citing lawsuits led by the Natural Resources Defense Council focusing on how marine life are impacted by the Navy’s use of active sonar and underwater explosives. “Active sonar is the most effective means of detecting the ultra-quiet diesel electric submarines deployed by foreign navies, such as China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy,” the letter noted. The letter also cited lawsuits by Earthjustice that have hindered live-fire exercises in Hawaii and a fight by environmental groups to prevent the relocation of a Marine Corps Air Station in Okinawa, Japan to a less densely populated area...MORE

Go here to read the letter

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