Your voice needed to defend wild places in the Highway Bill

Neil Shader

No Keystone XL pipeline

Neil Shader

The Senate is beginning to vote on their version of the Highways bill (which does not include the bad parts of the House’s “Drilling for Highways” bill) – starting with amendments to the bill.

While The Wilderness Society supports some of these amendments, some of them are clear giveaways to special interests like the oil industry.  It is vital that supporters of wild places like you take a moment to call your Senators and weigh in on these conservation issues in order to protect our nation’s vanishing wild places.

Call your Senators at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to support our wild places, not special interests.

The amendments are (in order they will be voted on):

  • Vitter Offshore Drilling Amendment: This amendment would open up places like Bristol Bay, the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico to offshore oil drilling.  Less than 2 years after the worst oil spill in American history, this amendment would rush oil drilling without significant improvements to safety and cleanup ability, threatening another catastrophe.  VOTE NO on AMENDMENT 1535(UPDATE: Amendment defeated!)
  • Baucus Secure Rural Schools Amendment:  This amendment would extend the “Secure Rural Schools” program – which provides critical funding for schoolchildren in rural areas – for another year.  More importantly, it does so without forcing unnecessary logging and timber sales on our National Forests. VOTE YES on BAUCUS SCHOOL AMENDMENT (UPDATE: Amendment passes!)
  • Nelson RESTORE Act and Land and Water Conservation Fund Amendment: Tying together two good ideas, this amendment would provide 2 years of dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (keeping it safe from potential budget cuts) and direct money to the Gulf Coast to restore the damage done by the BP oil spill.  This amendment is a great way to protect disappearing wild lands with LWCF and restore damaged ones on the Gulf Coast – a win-win situation. VOTE YES on AMENDMENT 1822 (UPDATE: Amendment Passes!)
  • Hoeven Keystone XL Amendment: Like zombies crawling from the grave, the Keystone XL will not stay down.  An amendment Sen. Hoeven, would take the decision away from the President and mandate that the pipeline be built.  The Keystone XL pipeline would threaten clean water along the entire 2100 mile route from Canada to the Gulf Coast, and do nothing to help Americans lower the price at the pump. VOTE NO on AMENDMENT 1537 (Hoeven) (Update: Amendment Defeated!)
  • DeMint Anti-Clean Energy Amendment: This amendment would outlaw all government support for clean, renewable wind and solar energy, but leave in place much of the government support for the oil and gas industry.  Rather than moving us toward clean, renewable energy sources, this amendment would keep us dependent on dirty fossil fuels.    VOTE NO on AMENDMENT 1589

The special interests pushing for the bad amendments have legions of lobbyists working the halls of Capitol Hill to get their amendments passed. We need your voice to drown them out and remind Members of Congress that they work for the people, not the lobbyists.

When you call, remember to tell them your name and where you are from, and remember to be polite – kindness goes much farther than hostility.

Call your Senators at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to support wild places, not special interests.