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Groups Oppose Rider-Laden, Fossil-Friendly Interior Bill

WASHINGTON - The House is scheduled to begin debate today on HR 5538, the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. As the measure goes to the floor, it is laden with over 30 policy riders designed to undermine basic protections for our air, water, climate and wildlife—a number that is expected to rise as votes begin on over 100 submitted amendments.

Friends of the Earth and over 95 other groups sent a letter to the House this morning, highlighting a number of riders that would reverse important steps towards keeping the fossil fuels beneath our public lands and waters in the ground. The current bill would block any attempt to raise royalty rates on public lands, stop new rules on venting and flaring, and effectively cripple the programmatic environmental impact assessment for federal coal leasing announced in January.

Friends of the Earth Climate Campaigner Marissa Knodel issued the following statement:

This is simply unacceptable. Polluters and their friends in Congress are preparing to use must-pass spending bills to advance their agenda of unlimited extraction on our public lands and waters. The victories of the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground must never be held hostage to corporate cash and Congressional extremism.

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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