LCV’s “Our Lands, Our Vote” Campaign Launches Digital Ads Holding Peterson Accountable for Budget Cuts to Parks, Other Environmental Priorities, Thanking McCollum

Sep 21, 2017

One week after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a spending bill that slashes funding for several environmental priorities, the League of Conservation Voters launched a $50,000 digital ad campaign holding members of Congress, including Rep Collin Peterson (D, MN-7), accountable for his support of the bill, and thanking Betty McCollum (D, MN-4) for standing up to these attacks.

The appropriations bill, H.R. 3354, makes unacceptable funding cuts to the National Park Service and the Land and Water Conservation Fund, while containing a slew of harmful anti-environmental policy riders. It also cuts more than $500 million from the Environmental Protection Agency – which wasn’t radical enough for Peterson, who also voted for a failed amendment to slash an additional $1.9 billion from the EPA and implement President Trump’s requested 31 percent cut. Peterson was the only Democrat to support Trump’s EPA budget request and the final House funding proposal.

“With President Trump leading the most anti-environment administration in our history, we need Congress to protect our public lands and boost funding for the EPA – but instead, the House passed a bill that threatens our outdoor recreation economy, clean air, and clean water,” said LCV Deputy Legislative Director Alex Taurel. “We’re thankful to Rep. McCollum for leading the charge against this terrible bill, and very disappointed that Rep. Peterson chose to put corporate polluter profits ahead of Minnesota families.”

As ranking member of the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, McCollum lead the opposition to the bill. The ads are running on Facebook in the members’ districts starting today.

The bill’s attacks on environmental priorities include:

  • Drastic cuts to parks and programs that protect public lands, including a 32 percent cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and a $64 million cut to the National Park Service.
  • A more than $500 million cut to the EPA, while hurricanes Harvey and Irma have highlighted the need for a robustly-funded EPA to protect communities from pollution in our waterways and from industrial facilities.
  • Provisions to prevent federal agencies from recognizing the costs of climate change by accounting for the economic impact of carbon pollution and taking commonsense steps to reduce methane emissions.
  • Cuts to the EPA’s Environmental Justice Program, which helps low income and minority communities overcome the disproportionate impacts of exposure to hazardous pollution and environmental contamination that have historically plagued these communities.
  • Several other anti-environmental policy riders, including measures that would allow the Trump administration to bypass the law and hide from the public the EPA’s repeal of drinking water protections for 117 million people; to delay and weaken smog standards that protect clean air; and to eliminate protections for endangered species such as the Gray Wolf.

LCV’s “Our Lands, Our Vote” campaign has been engaging people across the country to stand up for our public lands and waters since launching in June. Just this week, the Trump administration continued its assault on our public lands when reports surfaced that Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended the biggest rollback of protected public lands in our history.