Tracking Attacks from Congress on Public Health, Clean Water, and Action on Climate Change

U.S. Capitol Building / photo: shutterstock, Cvandyke

Big polluters have stacked Congress and the Trump Administration with their friends, and they have already started handing out favors. The polluter friendly agenda calls for rolling back our most vital protections for our water, air, climate and health.

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We will be tracking attacks on our water and environment here, and keeping you up to date on how your Representatives in the House and Senators vote on our priority bills. Check back regularly for updates. See how each Senator and Representative voted.

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Dirty Water Bills

Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (aka the “Poison Our Waters Act”)

The “Poison Our Waters Act” would gut Clean Water Act protections from pesticide use. The bill would allow for pesticides to be sprayed directly into rivers, lakes, wetlands or streams without a permit, putting communities that swim, fish, drink and do business at risk of being poisoned.

Read our letter opposing the Poison Our Waters Act.  

The pro-environment vote is NO.

H.R. 953 passed the House on May 24, 2017 with a vote of 256-165

S. 340 was introduced in the Senate on February 7, 2017.

 

Exempting Water Projects from Environmental Review

The Water Supply Permitting Act would undermine public input and environmental review for water projects, like dams and surface storage. This bill would undercut our bedrock environmental laws, like the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), by establishing strict deadlines for environmental impact studies, limiting public input, and allowing private companies to pay for expedited permit reviews.  

The pro-environment vote is NO.

H.R. 1654 passed the House on June 22, 2017 with a vote of 233-180

Climate and Energy Votes

Fast-tracking Gas Pipelines

The “Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act” would subvert state and local government agencies, undercut public transparency and limit environmental review in the permitting of new gas pipelines. It would give ultimate authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an agency with a poor record of environmental protection, to issue pipeline permits with minimal environmental protections and public participation.

Read our letter opposing H.R. 2910

The pro-environment vote is NO.

H.R. 2910 passed the House on July 19, 2017 with a vote of 248-179

 

Perry Amendment to the NDAA (Military Preparedness and Climate Change)

This amendment to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would have blocked a study on the impacts of climate change on the military. It would have also removed language that recognizes climate change as a direct threat to national security.

Read our letter opposing the Perry Amendment  

The pro-environment vote is NO.

H. Amdt. 179 to H.R. 2810 failed in the House on July 13, 2017 with a vote of 185-234

Anti-Regulatory Bills

REINS Act (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017)

This bill would significantly limit the ability of federal agencies to pass regulations that protect the environment and health. It would require Congressional approval for any new rules, severely limiting the ability of agencies like EPA to do their job.

Read our letter to the Senate opposing this bill.

The pro environment vote is NO.

H.R. 26 passed in the House on January 5, 2017, with a vote of 237-187.

S. 21 introduced in the Senate.

Midnight Rules Relief Act

This bill allows Congress to pass multiple Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions at once, thereby throwing out dozens of important environmental, health and other protections simultaneously without debate.

Read our letter to the Senate opposing this bill.

The pro environment vote is NO.

H.R. 21 passed in the House on January 5, 2017, with a vote of 238-184

S. 34 introduced in the Senate.

 

Regulatory Accountability Act

The Regulatory Accountability Act would cripple the process for issuing and enforcing rules to ensure we have clean air and water, safe food and consumer products, fair wages and safe workplaces and many other key protections. The bill would add dozens of burdensome new requirements to the Administrative Procedure Act — increasing the demands on agencies that are already struggling to operate under tight budgets.

The pro environment vote is NO.

H.R. 5 passed the House on January 11, 2017 with a vote of 238-183

 

Regulatory Integrity Act

The Regulatory Integrity Act prohibits federal agencies from communicating with the public about proposed regulations. This bill would stifle participation in the regulatory process and give more power to special interests like corporate polluters to influence regulations. This bill is bad for democracy as well as the environment and public health.

The pro environment vote is NO.

H.R. 1004 passed the House on March 2, 2017 with a vote of 246-176

 

Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act

The SCRUB Act establishes a commission to identify rules and regulations to be repealed. The commission would only consider costs, not benefits of regulations, rendering its decisions useless and not in the public interest. Additionally, the bill would require agencies adopting new regulations to cut an existing rule with equal or greater cost.

The pro-environment vote is NO.

H.R. 998 passed the House on March 1, 2017 with a vote of 240-185

Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment (HONEST) Act

The HONEST Act would restrict EPA from using scientific research that is not publicly available. This would handcuff EPA and limit the agency’s ability to pass enact protections. This anti-science bill is a direct attack on EPA and its mission of protecting the environment. Read our letter opposing the HONEST Act.

The pro-environment vote is NO.

H.R. 1430 passed the House on March 29, 2017 with a vote of 228-194.

EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act

This bill would hinder the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board (EPA SAB) to reach timely, independent, objective, credible conclusions that can form the basis of policy. The bill would make it easier for corporate interests like fossil fuel companies, to influence the scientific review process at the agency. Read our letter opposing this bill.

The pro-environment vote is NO.

H.R. 1431 passed the House on March 30, 2017 with a vote of 229-193.

Rolling Back Commonsense Protection: Congressional Review Act (CRA) Resolutions of Disapproval

The CRA allows Congress by majority vote in both chambers with limited debate and no possibility of a filibuster, to override recently issued rules so long as the president does not veto the congressional actions. The result: Americans have lost a number of health, safety, pocketbook and environmental protections. Compounding the problem, the CRA blocks agencies from issuing “substantially similar” rules – ever – without express authorization from Congress.

Congress could pass CRA resolutions from January 30 through May 11, 2017. Over this period, Congress voted to overturn 14 rules. Below, we have tracked the CRA’s that received floor votes to roll back environmental and health protections. Read about all CRA resolutions and more information on this process.

Read our letter to Congress opposing their use of CRA resolutions to undo public protections.

Overturning the Stream Protection From Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

The Stream Protection Rule, finalized by the U.S. Department of the Interior in Dec. 2016, provides communities with basic information they desperately need about toxic water pollution caused by nearby coal mining operations.

Read our letter to Congress on the Stream Protection Rule.

The pro environment vote is NO.

S.J. Res 10 passed in the Senate on February 2, 2017, with a vote of 54-45

H.J. Res. 38 passed in the House on February 1, 2017, with a vote of 228-194

Signed by President Trump on February 16, 2017.

 

Overturning the Oil, Gas and Mining Anti Corruption Rule

The oil anti-corruption rule requires U.S.-listed oil, gas and mining companies to publicly report project-level payments made to governments for natural resources in every country of operation. This transparency is key to preventing corruption. Read our letter to Congress opposing overturning this rule.

The pro environment vote is NO.

H. R. 71 passed in the House on February 1, 2017, with a vote of 231-191 and passed the Senate 52-47 on February 3, 2017.

Signed by President Trump on February 14, 2017.

 

Overturning the Rule on Methane Waste from Oil and Gas On Public Lands

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s methane and natural gas rule is a commonsense policy that requires the oil and gas industry to reduce venting, flaring and leaks at industry operations on public and tribal lands by deploying methane mitigation technology. Repealing this rule would harm public health and the climate and reduce revenue to the federal government and Western states. Read our letter to Congress opposing overturning this rule.

The pro environment vote is NO.

H.J. Res. 36 passed the House 221-191 on February 3, 2017

The bill FAILED in the Senate with a 49-51 vote on May 10, 2017

 

Overturning Protections for Alaska’s Wildlife

The US Fish and Wildlife service issued protections for bears, wolves and other carnivores on Alaska’s federal wildlife refuges. Alaska adopted an extreme program that allows for “predator control” methods that include killing mother bears and cubs, killing wolves and pups in their dens, and trapping, baiting, and using airplanes to scout and shoot bears. The Alaska Wildlife Refuge Rule blocked this program on federal lands. This CRA resolution clears the way for these extreme hunting practices. Read our letter to the Senate opposing overturning this rule.

The pro environment vote is NO.

H.J. Res. 69 passed the House on February 16, 2017 with a 225-193 vote. It passed the Senate on March 21, 2017 with a 52-47 vote.

 

Confirmation Votes in the Senate

Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State

The pro environment vote is NO.

Confirmed on February 1, 2017 with a vote of 56-43

Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator

The pro environment vote is NO.

Confirmed on February 17, 2017 with a vote of 52-46

Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy

The pro environment vote is NO.

Confirmed on March 2, 2017 with a vote of 62-37

Neil Gorsuch, Supreme Court 

The pro environment vote is NO.

Confirmed on April 7, 2017 with a vote of 54-45

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