Three Victories for Wildlife Against Big Oil!
The U.S. Senate passes a bipartisan transportation package that has tremendous impacts for America's wildlife.
Thanks to advocates like you who have been keeping the pressure on Congress to fight for their constituents' interests instead of Big Oil's, we are happy to be able to report some big wins for wildlife in the passage of the Senate tranportation bill.
In addition to helping rebuild America and creating thousands of new jobs in the process, including in transit, bike paths and programs to help get kids to and from school safely, three major conservation victories in the bill are:
* Keystone XL
This amendment would have overturned President Obama's decision to reject the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline--bypassing the environmental review process and giving Congress unprecedented authority to hand out a permit for this dangerous project. The pipeline would put endangered whooping cranes and critical resources at risk of toxic oil spills and drive a rapid expansion of habitat-destroying tar sands operations that could put the lives of thousands of wolves and other wildlife at risk.
* RESTORE Act:
The RESTORE Act ensures that Clean Water Act penalties collected from those responsible for the BP oil disaster be dedicated to Gulf Coast restoration--a big win for brown pelicans and other wildlife impacted by the spill. This historic amendment also includes significant authorization and funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the National Endowment for the Oceans, both essential programs to protect key wildlife habitat and natural resources.
* Arctic Drilling:
This amendment would have opened new leases for oil and gas drilling in pristine Arctic wilderness--putting ringed seals at needless risk of potential oil disasters, while boosting Big Oil's billions of dollars in profits. It would have also drastically expanded offshore drilling into vast new areas of our coastline, including the Atlantic Ocean, the California Coast, eastern Gulf of Mexico and Bristol Bay in Alaska.
Thanks to all of you who have sent messages, made calls, and spread the word to your friends over the last month--your voices for wildlife were heard loud and clear!
As the bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives, Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of National Wildlife Federation, says:
"We urge the House to take action and pass a similar broad bipartisan package that will boost our economy and protect and restore our environment for this and future generations. This is no time for political games, ploys, posturing and showdowns. This is a chance to get something done for the good of this and future generations and in the process restore a semblance of faith that Washington can work."