NPCA submitted the following positions to the House of Representatives ahead of anticipated floor votes starting June 20, 2019.
NPCA urges members to consider the following positions as the U.S. House of Representatives considers H.R. 3055 - Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2020.
The Interior, Environment section (Division C) provides needed relief for the National Park Service and the agencies that support our parks’ wildlife, clean air and water that have long been underfunded. Division C includes a critical 5 percent increase for the National Park Service overall, with specific modest increases to restore park staff positions, protect sites like Petersburg National Battlefield and Lewis and Clark National Historical Park from incompatible development through federal land acquisition, and better protect park resources from increasing visitation. Division C also provides a small increase for the National Heritage Area program that offers opportunities for historic preservation and interpretation in communities across the country. The division maintains recent increases to address the park service’s $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog, better invests in Everglades restoration, and makes investments in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay watersheds to ensure the health of national parks in these areas. These and other investments are critical for our national parks, the ecosystems in which they are located, and the visitors and local communities that rely on them. NPCA urges members to support Division C when voting on final passage of H.R. 3055.
Amendments in Division A
Golden (ME), Pingree (ME) #70 - NPCA opposes this amendment, which would severely hinder the recovery of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. The amendment would prohibit National Marine Fisheries Service from implementing science-based consensus recommendations intended to help save the species from extinction and allow its recovery along the East Coast.
Amendments in Division C
Wasserman Schultz (FL), et al. #128 - NPCA supports this amendment to prevent expanded offshore drilling activities off the coast of Florida. Florida national parks have already been negatively affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and deserve to be permanently protected from the risks of expanded offshore drilling.
Young (AK) #130 - NPCA opposes this amendment, which would prevent the designation of Wild and Scenic Rivers within Redwood National and State Parks in California. This amendment targets a specific congressional district without providing justification for why this area should not be eligible for these protections.
Young (AK) #131 - NPCA opposes this amendment, which would prevent the designation of wilderness in Northwestern California. This amendment targets a specific congressional district without providing justification for why this area should not be eligible for these protections.
Pallone (NJ), et al. #132 - NPCA supports this amendment, which would establish a moratorium on oil and gas drilling and other related activities in the Atlantic Planning Areas. This amendment would protect our Atlantic coastal national parks, and associated local economies and communities, from the potential harm and industrialization of expanded offshore drilling. These parks, including Acadia National Park, Gateway Recreation Area, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore, are not only destinations for millions of annual visitors, but they also serve as havens for birds, sea turtles, whales and other wildlife that deserve protection.
Scott, et al. #134 - NPCA supports this amendment to ensure the 400 Years of African-American History Commission has adequate funding to carry out its congressional mandate. The commission has been charged with determining the appropriate ways in which the first documented instance of African slavery in Virginia, should be commemorated.
Duncan (SC), et al. #135 - NPCA opposes this amendment to further undermine the Clean Power Plan, which established the first-ever national limits on carbon dioxide pollution and aimed to combat the climate crisis while saving the United States billions of dollars in climate and health-related costs. The EPA is charged with safeguarding human health and the environment, including reducing greenhouse gas pollution. Unfortunately, without the Clean Power Plan rules, we are putting our national parks, public health and communities at risk.
Gosar (AZ) #139 - NPCA opposes this amendment to impair implementation of the EPA’s Endangerment Finding, which, based on science, finds that the current and projected concentrations of greenhouse gases threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. Denying this Finding, simply denies the well-accepted and documented science of climate change; further it disempowers EPA from holding the fossil fuel industry accountably for taking action to address the primary causes and impacts of climate change to our national parks, local communities and more.
Grijalva (AZ) #141 - NPCA supports this amendment, which ensures our national parks and public lands along the U.S.-Mexico border remain under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior and protected in perpetuity for the American people.
Grijalva (AZ), et al. #142 - NPCA supports this amendment that prohibits the implementation of Executive Order 13817 that instates uranium as a critical mineral. This Order falsely characterizes uranium as critical, when it is primarily a fuel mineral and used to make military weapons and therefore fundamentally does not qualify. The Order also threatens one of the nation’s most iconic parks, the Grand Canyon, by enabling increased permitting opportunities for uranium when characterizing it as “critical.”
Mullin (OK), Duncan (SC) #147 - NPCA opposes this amendment that would undermine the EPA’s methane rules. These rules represent a bold step forward toward reducing methane pollution that impairs our air, lands, water, and wildlife, all of which must remain healthy to sustain America’s national parks. The accidental release of methane from oil and gas production drives climate change, changing park ecosystems and threatening the resources protected by the parks.
Mullin (OK), et al. #148 - NPCA opposes this amendment to deny the social cost of carbon and subsequently impair further action on combating climate change, one of the greatest threats to our national parks. The social cost of carbon illustrates the economic harm caused by climate impacts, an important factor when considering the scope of the climate crises and how best to address it.
Lujan (NM) #152 - NPCA supports this amendment to protect Chaco Culture National Historic Park from new oil and gas development on neighboring federal public lands. The park site is a unique landscape that tells the story of one of North America’s oldest and most sophisticated cultures, has an internationally renowned dark sky, and was recognized as a world-class cultural landscape with its designation as a World Heritage Site in 1987. The landscape is sacred ancestral homeland to Pueblo Tribes and is rich in cultural and archeological sites, some still unknown and undiscovered. Establishing the proposed withdrawal area will preserve scared sites of great significance to human history, help address some of the public health concerns of neighboring communities and tribes, and ensure the park’s exceptional resources are protected.
Bonamici (OR), et al. #155 - NPCA supports this amendment that effectively provides additional support for the use of science by the agency responsible for protecting our public health. Current EPA leadership has denied science its rightful place in safeguarding public health and enforcing our bedrock environmental laws, this amendment works to resolve that shortcoming in the name of science expertise at the Science Advisory Board.
Brownley (CA), Cisneros (CA) #157 - NPCA supports this amendment to increase funding for the Joint Fire Science program, which helps make sure that forest and fire decisions are made with the best available science. With an increase in fires across the nation’s public lands, our national parks continue to be significantly affected; therefore, they will benefit from the program’s work to utilize best available science when dealing with wildfire.
Graves, Garret (LA) #158 - NPCA opposes this amendment to strike a section of the base bill that would limit activities that would expand offshore drilling. NPCA opposes expanding offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Straits of Florida, and within the moratorium area of the eastern Gulf of Mexico. National parks on these coasts are not only destinations for tens of millions of visitors every year but they provide economic benefits to countless small coastal communities that depend on clean coastlines. Expanding offshore drilling would industrialize our coasts and put too much at risk of damage from possible oil spills.
Jeffries (NY) #159 - NPCA supports this amendment, which would help ensure that our national parks continue efforts to reduce plastic waste. Plastic bottles occupy a significant portion of the waste in our parks, costing the park service valuable dollars and causing avoidable environmental impacts. The Park Service should have the discretion to provide refillable water bottle services that can reduce waste.
Jeffries (NY), Cunningham (SC) #160 - NPCA supports this amendment on the use of Confederate flags in national parks. Confederate flags can occupy an important role in appropriate places and circumstances in our national parks, providing context for the Civil War and the chapters in our history that preceded and followed it. However, it is also a painful and divisive symbol when offered out of context and has no place in our national parks when they are displayed or sold out of appropriate historical context.
Hice (GA) #161 - NPCA opposes this amendment that would devastate the National Park Service and the agencies that ensure parks’ environmental integrity. Both Republican and Democratic appropriators have rejected the president’s budget for good reason, and this amendment would be a huge step backward for the protection of our national parks and the wildlife and visitors in them.
Banks (IN) #163 - NPCA opposes this amendment, which would eviscerate the many agencies in Division C that are critical to protecting and restoring our national parks and their wildlife, clean air and water. The National Park Service and related agencies have for too long been underfunded and cannot afford to be cut.
Cunningham (SC), et al. #167 - NPCA supports this amendment, which would limit oil and gas drilling, seismic airgun blasting, and other related activities in the Atlantic Planning Area. This amendment would protect our Atlantic coastal national parks, and associated local economies and communities, from the potential harm and industrialization of expanded offshore drilling. These parks, including Acadia National Park, Gateway Recreation Area, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore, are not only destinations for millions of annual visitors, but they also serve as havens for birds, sea turtles, whales and other wildlife that deserve protection.
Beyer (VA) #170 - NPCA supports this amendment to restrict any funds from being used to undermine the essential carbon dioxide New Source Performance Standards. The attempts by EPA to allow energy companies to build new coal plants without mitigating their enormous climate pollution levels, is profoundly irresponsible considering the urgency of the climate crisis that is threatening the very essence of our national parks as glaciers melt, wildfires rage and sea levels rise.
Carbajal (CA), et al. #176 - NPCA supports this amendment, which will protect Pacific coastal parks like Channel Islands and Olympic National Parks and Point Reyes National Seashore from new drilling off their coastlines.
McEachin (VA), Huffman (CA) #187 - NPCA supports this amendment which seeks to ensure the Department of the Interior’s Executive Resources Board (ERB) is adequately balanced and provides necessary expertise given that the prominent role of the ERB is to determine the executive resources needs of the Department’s bureaus and offices.
Casten (IL) #182 - NPCA supports this amendment to ensure our nation’s leading science agency is able to pursue climate modeling, presumably to provide accurate and updated information about climate change impacts and the scale of the crisis.
Craig (MN) #184 - NPCA supports this amendment on EPA’s Sec. 319 program, which helps states and communities address the causes and damaging impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). HABs are an increasing problem for national parks and waterways around the country. The resources provided by this program help efforts to decrease the agricultural and urban runoff that leads to this increasing water quality challenge.
Schrier (WA), et al. #190 - NPCA supports the EPA Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule and this amendment to ensure no funds are used to further undermine it. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that bioaccumulates through the food chain harming sensitive species and aquatic ecosystems - even fish from waterways and bodies assumed to be pristine, like within our national parks, contain dangerous levels of mercury because of air pollution. This 2012 rule has been effectively reducing toxic hazardous air and mercury pollution since 2012 to the great benefit of people around the country and our national parks and it must remain in place.
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