Legislative Letters

LETTER: Oppose H.R. 3219-A Dangerous Attack on Public Health Protections and Our Clean Energy Future

Jul 25, 2017

July 25, 2017

United States House

Washington, DC 20515

Re: Oppose H.R. 3219-A Dangerous Attack on Public Health Protections and Our Clean Energy Future

Dear Representative,

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) works to turn environmental values into national priorities. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.

LCV urges you to vote NO on H.R. 3219, the “Defense, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water Development National Security Appropriations Act,” which includes dangerous public health and environmental policy riders while also cutting critical investments in our renewable energy future.

First, H.R. 3219, which contains the FY2018 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, repeats the House Republican leadership’s history of circumventing regular order by inappropriately including harmful policy riders in spending bills. For example, it includes a radical provision that would exempt the administration’s repeal of the Clean Water Rule from long-standing requirements under the law, such as those mandated by the Administrative Procedures Act. This would allow the administration to move forward in their plan to jeopardize the clean drinking water of one in three people without providing an opportunity for public comment or demonstrating that their actions are not arbitrary or capricious in court. Other riders would stop the implementation of the beneficial National Ocean Policy, which allows agencies at all levels to coordinate ocean development activities, as well as a provision that would further threaten water quality by exempting the discharge of exceptionally damaging dredged or fill material from review by the Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act.

Further, H.R. 3219 severely cuts federal investment in clean energy, abandoning the research and development that has led to economic growth, job creation, and numerous public health and environmental benefits. The bill eliminates funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which helps develop and commercialize new energy technologies, and the Title 17 loan guarantee program, which helps make clean energy more affordable. It also cuts $1 billion dollars from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which will hinder job creation, halt economic growth and cripple essential programs that support the development of solar energy, sustainable transportation technologies and wind energy.

Instead of investing in a cleaner, healthier future, H.R. 3219 allocates $1.6 billion dollars for a border wall that will endanger the water, lands, homes and lives of the 15 million people who live in the US-Mexico border region while doing little to improve border security. The proposed border wall chips away at national parks, wildlife refuges, endangered species, culture, and our history of international cooperation, respect for our neighbors and tradition of welcoming immigrants. Ultimately, this is more than a disregard of human health and environmental protection: it is irresponsible politics with impacts that will span generations.

We urge you to REJECT H.R. 3219, the “Security Minibus,” and will strongly consider including votes on this bill in the 2017 Scorecard. If you need more information, please call my office at (202) 785-8683 and ask to speak with a member of our government relations team.


Gene Karpinski