MALIBU, CA — Today, Rep. Henry A. Waxman released a new report that details the House of Representatives withering attack on the nation’s longstanding coastal protections.
The House of Representatives in the 112th Congress has become the most anti-environment House in the history of the United States. Since January 2011, the House has voted 297 times to undermine basic environmental protections that have existed for decades and allow more pollution into the nation’s air, land, and water.
The federal laws protecting coastal areas have been a major target of these votes. Of the 297 anti-environment votes, 117 – almost 40% - were for policies that would undermine protection of America’s coastal areas, including the coast of California.
“Protecting our coastal areas should be a national priority,” said Rep. Waxman. “Yet the House Republican assault on coastal water, marine life, and the environment has been relentless. Coastal protections were established because the American people want clean beaches, clean water, and development that protect our seashores. Twelve million jobs in California depend on our coast. Congress should be strengthening coastal protections, not turning the clock back.”
The new report finds:
· The House has voted repeatedly to force new oil and gas drilling along the California coast – as well as in other coastal areas where drilling is not now currently permitted.
· The House has voted 26 times to allow offshore drilling operations to meet weaker environmental and safety standards, including votes to limit environmental review of new offshore drilling projects; to block minimum standards for blowout preventers and oil spill response; and to weaken Clean Air Act protections for offshore drilling activities.
· The House has voted 24 times to block action to address climate change – even though climate change could spell disaster for our coasts through significant sea level rise and ocean acidification.
· The House has voted 20 times to undermine Clean Water Act programs and protections for coastal areas and nearby waterways.
· The House has voted 16 times to weaken protections for fish and marine species, including votes to remove protections for salmon, sea turtles, sea otters, sea lions, and other species.
· The House has voted repeatedly to cut funding for coastal protection. It voted to cut funding for the National Ocean Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, as well as to block implementation of the National Ocean Policy, which President Obama established to improve the country’s stewardship of the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.
The full report is available here
and the database is available here