GOP Looks to Gut Environment Rules

39 environmental rollbacks added to appropriations bill

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 28, 2011 1:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – Paul Simon knew 50 ways to leave your lover, but House Republicans are apparently working on 39 ways to ditch environmental protection, reports the New York Times. With the nation's energies focused on the looming debt ceiling, the GOP is loading up an appropriations bill with environmental deregulation—such as preventing new wilderness areas from being protected, restricting the policing of mountaintop-removal mining, and allowing uranium prospecting near Grand Canyon National Park.

While there is little chance of most of these proposals passing, the worry is that at least some will stick when the House and Senate renegotiate the bill in the fall. “Many of us think that the overregulation from EPA is at the heart of our stalled economy,” said Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson. But Democrats contend this is just another example of the GOP being in the pocket of big business. “The new Republican majority seems intent on restoring the robber-baron era where there were no controls on pollution from power plants, oil refineries and factories,” said California Rep. Henry Waxman.

California Rep. Henry Waxman speaking during a hearing before the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee May 31, 2011.
California Rep. Henry Waxman speaking during a hearing before the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee May 31, 2011.   (Getty Images)
Piles of coal are shown at NRG Energy's W.A. Parish Electric Generating Station. House Republicans are loading up an appropriations bill with 39 major cutbacks to environmental regulations.
Piles of coal are shown at NRG Energy's W.A. Parish Electric Generating Station. House Republicans are loading up an appropriations bill with 39 major cutbacks to environmental regulations.   (AP Photo)
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