NPCA submitted the following positions to the House of Representatives ahead of anticipated floor votes starting June 12, 2019.
The Energy and Water Appropriations Act (Division E) provides critical support for federal agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers to support the protection and restoration of the lands and waters around our national parks. For example, it continues to invest in the Everglades in order to restore the natural flow of water from Lake Okeechobee through Everglades National Park and provides funding for the Corps to work collaboratively with university partners to address harmful algal blooms formation, detection, and remediation. The bill also provides the Army Corps with funds to continue operating the electric Asian carp barrier outside Chicago and directs the Corps to expedite work on an additional line of defense at Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois. Asian carp would devastate the Great Lakes if they were to get into Lake Michigan. NPCA urges members to support this division of the base bill.
Amendments Made in Order in H. Res. 431
Luetkemeyer Amendment #81, Gosar Amendment #83, Palmer Amendment #91 & Arrington Amendment #94
NPCA opposes these amendments, which would undermine the United States’ engagement in and support of efforts to address and mitigate climate change, including through the United Nations Framework and the Paris Climate Agreement. National parks are significantly and uniquely threatened by a rapidly warming planet driven by dramatic increases in human produced CO2. From the Everglades to Acadia and Denali to Grand Canyon—our national parks are suffering the consequences of climate change. National parks are particularly vulnerable to changes in climate because of their risk of exposure and sensitivity of plants, species, water resources, glaciers, cultural resources and often limited adaptive capacities. In fact, a comprehensive 2018 analysis of 417 US national parks found that the National Park System experienced warming at double the rate of the United States as a whole from 1895 to 2010. It’s more important now than ever before that the US be an active partner in the battle against an increasingly changing climate.
Amendments Made in Order in H. Res. 436
Burgess Amendment #63 & Banks Amendment #97
NPCA opposes these amendments, which would make across-the-board funding cuts of 5 and 14 percent, respectively, to the Energy and Water division. This portion of the bill includes programs that help restore and protect our national parks and related ecosystems and should not be subject to indiscriminate cuts.
Burgess Amendment #64
NPCA opposes this amendment, which would remove language restricting the Army Corps from using funds intended for other purposes to design or build a border wall. The construction of a border wall in biodiverse areas like the Sonoran Desert, including Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, would damage delicate park landscapes, block wildlife migration, and disrupt the flow of water. We need to look for solutions that keep our landscapes and communities intact – a wall is not the answer for our security or our national parks.
Wasserman Schultz Amendment #65
NPCA supports this amendment, which would prohibit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from issuing a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit for filling wetlands for oil and gas activities within the Everglades. Generally speaking, NPCA is opposed to oil drilling in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, which threatens the health and safety of clean drinking water for 8 million people who rely on the Everglades watershed. The federal government and State of Florida have already invested more than $1 billion on infrastructure to restore the Everglades. NPCA is committed to seeing those investments contribute to the restoration of the national parks and public lands of South Florida.
Huffman Amendment #90
NPCA supports this amendment, which would halt the Army Corps’ rapid process to permit the Pebble Mine project. The rushed environmental review of this open pit mine threatens permanent damage to Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks, brown bears and the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon run, and the communities who depend upon them.
Boyle Amendment #94
NPCA supports this amendment, which would ensure that grants made under the Energy and Water Appropriations Act cannot be disqualified due to their inclusion of terms such as “global warming” and “climate change.” This amendment ensures that the unnecessarily polarizing political dynamics around our nation’s willingness and ability to address climate change do not translate to federal grantmaking. Consistent with Mr. Boyle’s amendment, NPCA recognizes an immediate need to address the climate crises through diverse means and opportunities.
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Associate Director, Government Affairs