Environmentalists Blast Appropriations Package & Process

(10/20/1998) - Gene Karpinski, Executive Director, U.S. Public Interest Research Group: "This bill deserves to be vetoed, not celebrated. It contains far too many unacceptable anti-environmental provisions that will weaken public health protections and plunder public resources." (Contact: Liz Hitchcock, 202-546-9707)

Rodger Schlickeisen, President, Defenders of Wildlife: "This Congress has enacted more anti-environmental measures than any Congress in history. Despite the Administration's victories in removing some of the most destructive provisions, Congress has waged so many battles against nature that `victory' now means eliminating some of the worst assaults -- which still leaves the environment a big net loser." (Contact: Joan Moody, 202-682-9400x220)

John Adams, President, Natural Resources Defense Council: "Although it could have been worse, and nearly was, this bill is still an environmental disaster, with a host of provisions subsidizing destruction of public lands and undermining protection of our health and environment. The time is long past for Congress to stop subverting the will of the American people by evading the democratic process and moving these special interest assaults through the budget process. Having spoken out against environmental budget riders, the President should veto this legislation." (Contact: Greg Wetstone, 202-289-6868)

Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group: "Just two weeks ago, President Clinton got a standing ovation from 200 environmental leaders when he promised to block anti-environmental provisions attached to the budget. The legislation Mr. Clinton is signing and praising as pro-environment deserves a Bronx cheer." (Contact: Ken Cook, 202-737-4653)

Brent Blackwelder, President, Friends of the Earth: "Congress fired a shotgun blast of anti-environmental riders and many remain in the final bill. This is a step in the wrong direction -- towards more environmental destruction and wasteful spending. President Clinton should veto the bill." (Contact: Lynn Erskine, 202-783-7400)

Stephen D'Esposito, President, Mineral Policy Center: "Although Congress is attempting to hide its dirty work in this spending bill, it cannot hide from the environmental damage and taxpayer-funded cleanup bills that accompany inadequate mining regulations." (Contact: Susan Brackett, 202-737-1872)

Debbie Sease, Legislative Director, Sierra Club: "This was a deeply flawed process that led to a deeply flawed product. The Omnibus Spending bill was developed and debated behind closed doors, far from public view. President Clinton managed some damage control on the anti-environmental riders, but the final package still does unacceptable harm to the environment." (Contact: Holly Minch, 202-547-1144)