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Fiscal Year 2012 Interior and Environment Bill Approved by Appropriations Committee


Washington, Jul 12 -

The House Appropriations Committee today approved the Fiscal Year 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. The legislation includes annual funding for the Department of the Interior, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, and various independent and related agencies.

In total, the bill includes $27.5 billion in spending – a reduction of $2.1 billion below last year’s level and $3.8 billion below the President’s budget request. The legislation also cuts climate change programs by a total of $83 million – or 22% – from last year, and decreases land acquisition funding by $239 million – or 79%. In addition, the legislation also includes several provisions aimed at reining in out-of-control federal bureaucracies and overly burdensome regulations that harm American businesses and hinder economic recovery.

“This legislation is a great example of the hard but necessary work the Appropriations Committee is doing to get our fiscal house in order by cutting extraneous, duplicative and unnecessary spending. The cuts in this bill were not easy and they were not taken lightly, but they are responsible and necessary to move our country in the right direction,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “In addition, the bill reins in out-of-control regulation at the EPA – the poster child for the Administration’s widespread regulatory overreach that is hurting nearly every sector of our recovering economy.”

“We are living at a time of record deficits and debt. If there’s one thing we should have learned from the last Congress, it’s that we can’t spend our way to economic recovery. At the end of the day, what this Committee is attempting to do in this bill is reduce spending, create more certainty in the marketplace, and promote an economic environment conducive to job growth,” Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson said.

For the text of the legislation considered today by the Appropriations Committee, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/INTERIOR-FY2012_-_Working_v20_xml.pdf

For the bill report, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/FY_2012_INTERIOR_FULL_COMMITTEE_REPORT.pdf

Summaries of the adopted amendments at the full committee mark up follow:

Simpson (R-ID) The manager’s amendment makes technical changes to the bill and includes additional, non-controversial report language. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Calvert (R-CA) The amendment prevents the EPA from being forced to implement a biological opinion related to pesticides and the Endangered Species Act. This will allow time for an independent scientific review on the issue to be completed. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Jackson (D-IL) The amendment increases visitor services funding by $1 million for the National Park Service related to the 150-year Civil War commemoration, offset by a cut to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oil and gas program. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Emerson (R-MO) The amendment inserts report language to direct the EPA to conduct a study on the economic impact of a rule requiring installation of catalytic converters on certain engines. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Culberson (R-TX) The amendment inserts report language requiring the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) to provide quarterly reports to Congress on the status of permits, as well as reasons permits were denied. The was adopted on a voice vote.

Kingston (R-GA) The amendment allows the Department of Interior to lease land to the Savannah Bar Pilots association, which assists pilots in moving vessels into the Port of Savannah. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Dent (R-PA) The amendment inserts report language to direct the National Park Service to adhere to the original schedule for an environmental impact statement related to electric transmission lines within the Delaware Gap National Recreation Area. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Carter (R-TX) The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to implement regulations on Portland cement. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

McCollum (D-MN) The amendment prohibits funds for contracts or agreements with entities with unpaid Federal tax liabilities that have not entered into payment agreements to remedy the liability. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rehberg (R-MT) The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to implement the "lead contractor" rule until the agency approves a commercially available lead paint test kit. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. McCollum (D-MN) The amendment prohibits the government from entering into contracts or agreements with any corporation that was convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal or State law within the preceding 24 months. The amendment was accepted on a voice vote.

Cole (R-OK) The amendment reinstates a demonstration program to allow certain tribes to maintain some autonomy from the Department of Interior in the management of their trust funds and finances. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Lummis (R-WY) The amendment prohibits funding for the Wild Lands Secretarial Order, which would negatively impact ranching, energy production, recreation, and other activities on BLM land. A similar provision passed the House in the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Diaz-Balart (R-FL) The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to implement or enforce numeric Florida Water Quality Standards. The amendment passed on a vote of 26-19.

Austria (R-OH) The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to finalize a new greenhouse gas standard for automobiles after model year 2017. The amendment passed on a vote of 27-20.

Flake (R-AZ) The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to regulate certain levels of particulate matter in the air – including farm dust – under the Clean Air Act. The amendment passed on a vote of 29-18.

Rehberg (R-MT) The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to develop duplicative financial assurance requirements on manufacturing (chemicals, petroleum refining, power plants, mining, wood products, metals, and electronics). The amendment passed on a vote of 28-17.

Emerson (R-MO) The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to designate new wetlands in emergency disaster areas. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Cole (R-OK) The amendment requires the Indian Health Service to disburse funds to Alaska Native regional health entities instead of individual villages when such villages reside within areas served by regional health entities. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Culberson (R-TX) The amendment inserts report language requiring BLM and the Forest Service to provide written notification of land exchanges to adjacent landowners. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

LaTourette (R-OH) The amendment prohibits states from receiving EPA Great Lakes funding if they have adopted ballast water requirements that are more stringent than federal requirements. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

LaTourette (R-OH) The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to implement a regulation to restrict information provided on pesticide labels. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Flake (R-AZ) The amendment inserts report language to direct the Forest Service to report on the aftermath on the recent Arizona wildfires and the need for restoration and reforestation. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Flake (R-AZ) The amendment inserts report language requiring the Department of Interior to report on the progress of safety recommendations related to the Deep Water Horizon Commission report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Cole (R-OK) The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to implement regulations related to ammonia emissions such as those created by agricultural operations. The amendment passed on a voice vote.

Lummis (R-WY) The amendment inserts report language to direct the EPA to do a cumulative assessment of the impacts of EPA regulations, and prohibits funding for the "Utility MACT" and "Transport" rules. The amendment passed on a vote of 25 to 20.

Flake (R-AZ) The amendment extends the stewardship contracting authority for the Forest Service through year 2023. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Final Passage - The bill passed on a vote of 28-18.