Pushing back against recent rulings by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Republicans in the House of Representatives on February 18 passed a spending bill with amendments that undermine the agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases, block mountaintop removal mining and increase the amount of ethanol allowable in gasoline, the blog Politico and other media outlets reported.
These are all issues with resonance in the American Indian community, from those on the forefront of climate change to those fighting against mining projects around the country and their potential effects on sacred sites.
Although the resolution will have a hard time in the Senate and may well be vetoed by President Obama, it seems the first major salvo in a GOP attempt to create a more business-friendly climate when it comes to environmental issues.
The seven-month spending plan, which will fund the U.S. government through September 30, would cut $3 billion from the EPA’s budget, cutting it by 29 percent from 2010 and doubling the cuts proposed in the original plan, Mother Jones reported.
In addition, the EPA would be barred from using its funds for developing and regulating greenhouse gas emissions and would lose one third of its funding for the Global Change climate-change-research program, Mother Jones said. And it would stop Obama from hiring a replacement for Carol Browner, who is stepping down as the administration’s so-called climate-change and energy czar.