During yesterday’s “filibreather” of the 2012 environmental budget bill (HR 2584), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) railed against the efforts by the Republican majority to prevent action on climate pollution. The bill’s cuts in funding for greenhouse gas programs and regulations “severely limit actions the administration could take” to permit, control and even monitor the pollution. Connolly rightly observed that the extreme weather disasters around the United States are the “symptoms of global warming,” but Republicans are putting ecosystems, infrastructure, and public health at risk with their denial:
The Republican majority seems to be living in an alternative reality.
As Americans face unprecedented drought in the Southwest, record floods in the Mississippi basin, record heat here in Eastern and Midwestern cities, accelerating sea level rises and other symptoms of global warming, this bill blocks funding even to monitor global warming. Not only do Republicans deny the existence of global warming, apparently, they have even blocked funding to monitor its impacts.
This reckless policy rider doesn’t just endanger polar bears, coral reefs and countless other species and ecosystems, it endangers American infrastructure. From the Norfolk naval base to the Jefferson Memorial. It endangers American public health by increasing smog pollution and heat-related deaths, as we’ve seen from the recent heat wave that swept across the East and Midwest United States, setting record temperatures here in Washington, DC, Newark and other cities across the Eastern seaboard.
Hundreds of Americans have died and billions of dollars have been lost from this year’s record climate disasters, but the Republican House majority is stripping the nation of our ability to fight against the threat of climate pollution.
“I urge my colleagues to reject this reckless legislation that defunds critical land programs, eviscerates 40 years of bipartisan environmental standards and desecrates the memory of Teddy Roosevelt,” Connolly concluded.