The annual rider battle is in full swing, with a number of lawmakers in Washington., D.C, trying to attach pieces of anti-environmental legislation to large, must-pass government funding bills. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has tacked a rider onto an Interior Department spending bill that would block federal agencies from adopting tough new rules governing hard-rock mining. Another measure attached to a spending bill by Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) would create a 2.8 million-acre “Western Legacy District” in Utah, undermining efforts by enviros to get wilderness protection for parts of the area. Dozens of other anti-environmental riders are also in play, including ones that would undermine an EPA plan to restrict arsenic in drinking water, increase logging in national forests, and eliminate funding for an effort to protect children by reducing pesticide residues on food.
Get Grist in your inbox