Many greens, including me, had big problems with Waxman-Markey, the failed cap and trade bill that would have finally priced carbon but also given a lifeline to the coal industry. Whatever your feelings for the bill, the congressmen behind it, Ed Markey (MA) and Henry Waxman (CA), have always been stalwart defenders of the environment. That's why they have massive credibility when they say that this Congress is the "most anti-environment House in the history of Congress."To back up their claim, the congressmen have published a fact sheet detailing the votes of this anti-environment, anti-science House, which has time and again taken aggressive action against legislation designed to protect our air, water, land, and health.
In a press release, Rep. Markey, Ranking Democratic Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, said:
"President Theodore Roosevelt said, 'A vote is like a rifle' and House Republicans have one pointed right at the heart of America's clean energy future. "Time after time, Republicans have voted to leave our air and water more polluted, keep our nation more dependent on foreign oil, despoil our National Parks, and deny that our climate has a rising fever. Republicans have spent their 206 days in the majority building a voting record against protecting Americans' public health and increasing OPEC's wealth. While House Republicans may not be able to agree on how to destroy our economy, they are in lock-step in their commitment to destroy our environment."
The latest assault is H.R. 2584, the fiscal year 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. House Republicans have packed it with 39 anti-environment riders and included language that guts the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior. This at a time when we are facing the largest environmental challenge we have ever faced--climate change.
Last week, the House voted on the Terry bill, which forces President Obama to approve or reject the Keystone XL pipeline's permit application by Nov. 1. The 1,700 mile-long pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada down the Gulf Coast. One way to push back on this assault on reason is to join the Tar Sands Sit In, a two week protest at the White House this August.