July 7, 2011
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement after the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee passed the FY 2012 spending bill:
"This spending bill accomplishes the difficult goal of ending runaway government spending while still providing funding to both protect and harness our nation’s natural resources. By setting priorities and making tough choices, the bill will save taxpayers billions of dollars – a small but important step towards reducing the deficit. This is done through common sense policies such as focusing scarce dollars on caring for existing federal lands rather than spending hundreds of millions to buy more land and exacerbating the operations and maintenance backlog, and by restricting the listing of endangered species and habitat designations until the Endangered Species Act is reformed and reauthorize, which hasn’t been done in nearly two decades. Despite spending cuts, this bill still increases funding to improve offshore drilling safety and inspections, hopefully resulting in permits being approved in a timely and efficient manner so people can get back to work. Finally, the bill prevents the Interior Department and the EPA from carrying out several unilateral policy decisions that could lock-up American energy, harm our economies and cost thousands of jobs throughout rural America."
Highlights of the FY 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill:
- Provides $27.5 billion in total spending, a reduction of $2.1 billion below last year’s level and $3.8 billion below the President’s budget request;
- Provides a $17 million (based off of FY12 Budget Request) increase for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to hire new inspectors.
- Prohibits the Obama Administration from blocking uranium mining, used to produce clean nuclear energy, outside of the Grand Canyon.
- Prohibits the EPA from spending funds to implement the expansion of the Clean Water Act, which could allow them to regulate everything from mud puddles to small ponds.
- Provides a $240 million decrease for the federal government to purchase more land under the LWCF.
- Provides a $392 million increase for Indian Health Service.
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