Washington, D.C. — Following passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 through the House of Representatives, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) issued the following statement from Senior Government Affairs Advocate Ben Alexandro:
“We commend Chairman Smith and House leadership for taking important steps in this bill to tackle the climate crisis, which threatens our communities, public health, and national security. Given the uncertain status of climate, jobs and justice legislation, it is more important than ever that Congress uses every tool in their toolbox to act on climate. The bill includes critical protections for our public lands, safeguards for our clean air and water, and funding for important climate research and resiliency efforts. The significant funding for cleaning up dangerous PFAS chemicals, along with important reforms to limit air and water pollution, protect military members and their families, and hold polluters accountable, are important victories for the health and safety of all communities. We also applaud the inclusion of provisions to protect millions of acres of public lands — including sections of the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act, Grand Canyon Protection Act, Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, facilitating protections and cleanup for Texas’ Castner Range, expanding California’s Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, clarifying protections for sensitive landscapes in the California desert, and establishing the Cerro de la Olla Wilderness in New Mexico. These provisions will help communities access parks and public lands, safeguard national treasures and nearby tribal communities from dangerous mining operations, and protect vital ecosystems and wildlife corridors. While the bill takes a step forward on the path to meet the Biden administration’s goal of 30GW of offshore wind by clarifying that wind lease sales can occur off the southeast coast, we are concerned that maritime crewing restrictions in the bill could jeopardize the growth of this vitally important nascent sector in our clean energy future.
As we look to a conference with the Senate, we urge negotiators to preserve critical provisions that invest in healthy and safe communities, tackle climate change, and protect our public lands and waters from Big Polluters in the final package.”