Checking pollution advisories could become a vital part of your pre-travel planning, along with checking the weather and stopping the mail, if the House of Representatives votes for more than 40 pollution provisions this week.
Simply put, the House could put future vacations at risk in order to keep Big Oil and coal interests happy. It plans to vote on the Interior Environment FY 2012 Appropriations bill, H.R. 2584, which is chock full of provisions that would prolong pollution of the air, water, oceans, and lands of your favorite vacation destinations.
Any one of these special interest provisions in H.R. 2584 is enough to wreck a vacation — from the Grand Canyon to the Great Lakes and Puget Sound; from California’s beaches to the Chesapeake Bay. Taken together, they are an unprecedented assault on public health and public lands, all hidden in an annual spending bill — which is why President Barack Obama promised to veto it.
Here’s how these provisions will impact 10 of America’s favorite vacation spots, with the appropriate section of H.R. 2584 included in parentheses:
Grand Canyon National Park: uranium mining
Photo: Alan English
The threat: One million acres around the Grand Canyon would be opened up to uranium mining, threatening the pristine canyon and polluting the drinking water [PDF] source for more than 25 million Americans. (Sec. 445)
With close to 5 million visitors a year, the Grand Canyon National Park offers camping, raft trips, hiking, and guided tours of one of the seven wonders of the natural world. A provision in the bill would allow mining companies to develop new mining claims that could begin just a few miles away from some of the most popular locations in the canyon. If developed, these claims could severely change the area’s landscape and pollute the Colorado River.