This September when the Republican controlled House of Representatives returns from recess one of their first legislative efforts is to curb the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. House Republicans are adding riders to appropriations bills in an attempt to hamper both agencies. The riders have absolutely nothing to do with the appropriations bills being considered by Congress. House Republican Mike Simpson from Idaho is the author of the riders and wants to curb the EPA’s ability to designate which streams and wetlands should be protected. According to the Congressman’s spokesperson Rep. Simpson feels that the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates the nations waterways from pollution, and that the EPA has no business in protecting these waterways. Rep. Simpson also is blaming the EPA for hindering job creation in the U.S. by over regulating industry from polluting. The House Republicans have loaded over 40 riders on appropriations bills in an attempt to slide them through Congress. The riders are being met with high levels of opposition from the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Some of the riders the Republicans are trying to get passed include: exempting pesticides from the Clean Water Act, allowing the government to purchase dirtier fuels, restrict mileage standards, block enforcement of energy efficient light bulbs, prevent the shutdown of Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal site, and prevent USDA from assessing climate change. Presidential advisers have already indicated that President Obama would veto any of the provisions that contain these riders. At least someone in Washington gets why the EPA and Interior Department are important agencies. Perhaps Rep. Simpson should be made to live next to a coal-fired plant that sits on a polluted waterway. Maybe then he’d appreciate the necessity to regulate air and water pollution.
Photo Credit: John Vlahakis