Farm Bill Would Allow Mass Killing of Endangered Species With Pesticides
The bill launches the broadest attack on the Endangered Species Act in 45 years, eliminating the requirement that federal agencies analyze pesticides' harm to the nation's 1,800 protected species before approving them, greatly increasing the risk of extinctions.
"House Republicans are putting salmon, killer whales and other wildlife on the fast track to extinction," said Lori Ann Burd, director of the Center for Biological Diversity's environmental health program. "This is a stunning gift to the pesticide industry, with staggering implications for endangered species."
Earlier this year the National Marine Fisheries Service released a "biological opinion" showing that three widely used insecticides—chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon—are putting killer whales and 37 different salmon and sturgeon species on a path to extinction.
In response the pesticide industry has sought to exempt pesticides completely from the Endangered Species Act. During this session of Congress, the pesticide industry has spent more than $43 million on congressional lobbying to achieve that goal.
In addition to the attacks on endangered species, H.R. 2 weakens Clean Water Act protections from pesticides, includes a sweeping provision that would gut protections for forests, and has 46 different provisions that would curtail public input and common-sense protections provided by the National Environmental Policy Act.
Late additions to the legislation would also roll back virtually all protections for old-growth forests in Alaska.
"This farm bill should be called the Extinction Act of 2018," said Burd. "If it becomes law, this bill will be remembered for generations to come as the one that drove the final nail in the coffin of some of America's most vulnerable species."
'Sick Joke': House Agriculture Committee Advances Farm Bill Attacking Environment, Endangered Species… https://t.co/3iF4OP29an— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1524142823.0
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By Governor Jay Inslee
Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.
In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.
Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.