Environmental Groups Urge Republican Leadership Not to Hold Everglades Hostage to Destructive Pork Projects
Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed a $6 billion Water Resrouces Development Act that contains scores of new dredging and flood control projects that have never been subject to environmental and economic review. Despite broad press reports this year of abuses by the Army Corps of Engineers in the planning of these projects, the bill failed to include significant reforms and instead included new subsidies for excessive port dredging and risky beachfront development. Senators Smith and Max Baucus, Chairman and ranking minority member of the Senate Environment Committee, have refused to accept these abuses in negotations with House members to try to fashion a compromise bill.
The House and Senate water projects bills include the bipartisan Everglades Restoration Act. But Congressman Bill Young, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the House, has previously stated that he will move the Everglades bill separately if there is no agreement on a broader water projects bill. The new pressure is an effort to force Senator Smith, who has championed the Everglades bill, to agree to an expensive, and environmentally destructive broader projects bill that violates established procedure for approving new projects only after they have been subject to full reviews.
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Contact(s):Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772-3270