ManateePhoto: OZinOHCross-posted from ThinkProgress Green.

Florida Tea Party members believe that federal efforts to protect manatees from extinction are part of a United Nations conspiracy to place manatee over man. Freshman Rep. Rich Nugent (R-Fla.) is now standing up for the Tea Partiers against the feared manatee overlords, offering an amendment to the FY 2012 Interior and Environment appropriations bill (HR 2584) that would block the creation of a manatee refuge in Citrus County:

U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent is asking Congress to withhold funding for a proposed manatee-protection rule involving Crystal River and King’s Bay, effectively stopping the rule before it starts.

The planned refuge would place speed limits on motor boats, to protect the nearly extinct species of herbivorous, aquatic mammals from maiming, disfigurement, and death.

Other crazed amendments offered to the FY 2012 Interior and Environment appropriations bill:

  • From David Scott (R-Ga.): None of the funds for climate change research.
  • From Blake Farenthold (R-Texas): None of the funds to interfere with states’ efforts to regulate hydraulic fracturing.
  • From Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.): Prohibits the appropriated agencies from buying compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Also from Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.): Bar funding for the SunWise Program, an EPA program to teach parents, teachers, and children about what they should do to protect kids from overexposure to the sun.
  • From John Fleming (R-La.): Eliminate funding for the Energy Star program.
  • From Bill Flores (R-Texas): None of the funds to enforce section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to prohibit federal purchases of high-carbon fuels.
  • From James Lankford (R-Okla.): None of the funds for the President’s Council on Environmental Quality.
  • From Steve King (R-Iowa): None of the funds to enforce the Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Program.
  • From Steve Stivers (R-Ohio): None of the funds to regulate stationary source greenhouse gases for two years.