Policy Update Sep 23, 2020

NPCA position on amendments to H.R. 4447

Ahead of anticpated votes, NPCA shared the following positions on amendments to H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act

Since 1919, National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System. While NPCA does not have a position on the underlying bill, given the scope of the legislation, we ask that on behalf of our nearly 1.4 million members and supporters nationwide, you to consider our views on several amendments to H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act.

In general, NPCA recognizes that climate change is the greatest threat to our national parks. Therefore, in order to substantively address the needs of both our national parks and communities across the nation, we must mitigate our greenhouse gas pollution to blunt their impacts to parks and support systemic changes in our energy systems that have, for far too long, disproportionately burdened frontline communities, particularly those of color. NPCA respectfully asks that you support amendments focused on improving environmental justice, more equitable energy distribution and improving funding for disenfranchised communities. This includes support for amendments such as:

Amendment #3 (Original #59) by Barragán (CA) Amendment #5 (Original #130) by Barragán (CA) Amendment #14 (Original #150) by Castor (FL) Amendment #19 (Original #124) by DeGette (CO) and Perlmutter (CO) Amendment #21 (Original #16) by DeSaulnier (CA) Amendment #52 (Original #110) by Lujan (NM) and Castor (FL) Amendment #58 (Original #47) by O’Halleran (AZ) Amendment #63 (Original #64) by Panetta, LaMalfa, Costa, Garamendi and Carbajal (CA) Amendment #84 (Original #167) by Tlaib (MI)

NPCA urges you to oppose Amendments #28 (Original #156) and #30 (Original #160) by Rep. Graves (LA) as they may unnecessarily burden domestic production of critical minerals, potentially harming public lands and waters. More specifically, Amendment #28 includes a report on the viable market opportunities for solar-energy production, including the “ability to domestically source necessary critical minerals.” Metals for solar panels should first come from end-of-life EV car batteries and other energy storage devices, many of which are manufactured in allied countries. Viable market opportunities exist in the circular economy in metal recycling, reuse and substitution. Likewise, Amendment #30 unnecessarily adds to a study on the critical mineral recycling program a study of the increase or decrease of amount of critical materials we import and export. There already exist many reports which include this information, and the recycling and reuse program should be focused on reducing the amount of use and need for critical minerals, not imports or exports.

By contrast, NPCA supports amendments that reign in the development and use of critical minerals. We ask that you support Amendment #31 (Original #137) by Rep. Haaland (NM) to ensure the nuclear program (HA-LEU), which requires highly enriched uranium) created in the bill will not negatively impact public lands, the natural or cultural resources of Tribal communities or Native Nations, or degrade ground or surface water quality as a result of uranium mining.

Likewise, support Amendment #79 (Original #141) by Rep. Scott (VA) to require research into recovery and recycling of critical materials for wind energy. This research will help reduce the amount of mining, and thus environmental impact on clean water and public lands, by finding ways to reduce the need for new critical materials.

And support #81 (Original #111) by Rep. Stevens (MI) to include R&D for processing and manufacturing more efficient vehicles. This includes recycling of materials that may otherwise need to be mined, reducing the potential environmental impact on clean water and public lands, and finding ways to decrease the need for new critical materials.

Support Amendment #49 (Original #38) by Rep. Lowenthal (CA) to require the Department of the Interior to be more accountable for emissions produced on public lands. This would provide publicly available data on fossil fuel operations, allowing for better control and reductions of greenhouse gas and their sources on public lands.

Support Amendment #94 (Original #122) by Rep. DeGette (CO) to reinstate the Bureau of Land Management’s 2016 Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation rule and updates Title I of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act so that it significantly increases methane capture from onshore wells over five years. A reduction in this potent greenhouse gas would improve air quality, benefit taxpayers, and reduce air and climate pollution affecting national parks.