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Legislative Letters

50 Environmental Groups Oppose House FY24 Interior Appropriations Bill

Jul 19, 2023

The League of Conservation Voters and Trust for Public Land led 50 environmental organizations in sending the below letter to Congressional Appropriators urging them to oppose the House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bill during the full committee markup this week.

 

July 18, 2023

Dear Members of the House Committee on Appropriations,

On behalf of our millions of members and supporters, the 50 undersigned groups urge you to oppose the House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bill during the full committee markup this week. In the middle of a summer full of record heat waves, horrific flooding, and wildfire smoke that is blanketing much of the nation, this bill would gut the agencies charged with protecting our environment and our health and would massively undermine last year’s historic climate legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act. It would also introduce an onslaught of extreme anti-environmental policy mandates that have no place in the appropriations process. This attack on our health, lands, wildlife, biodiversity, air, water, oceans, and communities is unacceptable and must be rejected.

There are so many outrageous attacks on our environment in this bill that it would be impossible to name them all. The bill proposes a draconian 40% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, back to levels not seen in more than 30 years. It completely zeroes out spending on environmental justice programs. It slashes basic clean air and water protections and environmental cleanup programs. It rescinds funding for critical Inflation Reduction Act programs like the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Poison-pill policy riders would doom imperiled species to extinction and mandate fossil fuel lease sales in a bill that is supposed to fund environmental protection. This legislation is as outlandish as it is dangerous for our environment, and must be rejected by the Committee.

Environmental agencies are still struggling to rebuild capacity after the decade of harmful spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act and four years of harsh spending cuts from the previous administration. Many of our groups highlighted the need for increased environmental funding in an April 26 letter in support of the President’s budget request. In June, Congress and the White House agreed on top-line funding levels for Fiscal Years 2024 and 2025. Those pre-negotiated funding levels—which the Senate is respecting—are painful enough. It is, therefore, both egregious and disingenuous for the House to mark up bills below those agreed-upon funding levels.

These partisan spending bills are dead on arrival in the Senate. By reneging on the bipartisan agreement, we fear the Committee is setting Congress on a path to a harmful and completely avoidable government shutdown. We urge you to reject these egregious attacks on our environment, and to take seriously the foundational duty of funding our government.

Sincerely,

 

League of Conservation Voters

Trust for Public Land

AFFTA Fisheries Fund

Alaska Wilderness League

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

American Humanist Association

Animal Legal Defense Fund

Appalachian Mountain Club

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Azul

CCAN Action Fund

Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Freethought Equality

Climate Action Campaign

Climate Law & Policy Project

Conservation Lands Foundation

Defenders of Wildlife

Earthjustice

Endangered Species Coalition

Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Protection Network

Environmental Working Group

Friends of the Earth

Greenpeace USA

Humane Society Legislative Fund

Inland Ocean Coalition

Interfaith Power & Light

Los Padres ForestWatch

Maine Conservation Voters

National Audubon Society

National Ocean Protection Coalition

National Parks Conservation Association

National Wildlife Federation

National Wildlife Refuge Association

Natural Resources Defense Council

Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness

Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Defense Initiative

Oceana

Partnership for Policy Integrity

Sierra Club

Silvix Resources

Southern Environmental Law Center

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

The Earth Bill Network

The Wilderness Society

Union of Concerned Scientists

Voices for Progress

WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Western Watersheds Project