Environmental Issues > U.S. Law & Policy Main Page > All U.S. Law & Policy Documents

U.S. Capitol

House Republicans are at it again -- holding the nation hostage to push their agenda. Here is a list of anti-environmental riders the House has added so far this year to spending bills. House Republicans are also threatening to add riders to the bill to raise the debt ceiling -- a move that threatens the credit-worthiness of the United States and could harm the economy.

Learn about the anti-environmental budgets riders approved in the previous fiscal year. »

House Republican leaders spent the summer trying to load up last-minute, must-pass legislation with anti-environmental riders. They are trying to delay or repeal protections for air, water, health, lands and species by adding provisions to unrelated spending and debt legislation. If their efforts succeed, they will have reversed many years of environmental progress.

These provisions are called "riders" because they ride along on legislation that is entirely unrelated to the rider. The anti-environmental riders offered to the spending bill, for example, would not change federal spending by one cent. Riders are used to slip through legislation that would be difficult to pass on its own. Riders also result in the measures getting less scrutiny and in legislators avoiding responsibility for supporting them.

*Update: On Jan.13 the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 was released, revealing that pro-environment legislators had successfully prevented the majority of these anti-environmental riders from being included in the bill. Unfortunately, some riders were included in the final bill and they are bolded below. Riders that appeared for the first time in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 are noted as being introduced in that bill.

Clean Air

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 420) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently prevent the EPA from limiting pollution from livestock production under the Clean Air Act. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 420.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 421) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently prevent the EPA from requiring the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from manure management systems. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 421.

A provision in the Interior and Environment appropriation (page 41) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would rescind $1.3 billion from the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program and transfer $285.6 million to wildfire suppression operations.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 445) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would block EPA from limiting carbon pollution from power plants.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 451) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would prevent EPA from updating standards for cleaning up gasoline and cutting smog-forming pollution from cars and light trucks (known as Tier 3 standards).

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 457) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently exempt metal casting facilities that use furnaces to reprocess industrial sand from complying with particulate standards.

A rider in the Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 533) offered by Rep. Flores (R-TX) would allow the federal government to purchase dirtier fuels for its vehicles, waiving current law. The rider says the government can buy fuels like liquid coal even though current law forbids purchasing alternative fuels that emit more carbon pollution than conventional fuels do.

A rider in the Defense appropriation (Sec. 10019) and Homeland Security Appropriation (Sec. 582) offered by Rep. Flores (R-TX) would waive section 526 of the Energy Independence Security Act, which prevents the government from purchasing alternative fuels that emit more carbon pollution than conventional fuels do.

A rider in the Defense appropriation (Sec. 10029) offered by Rep. LaMalfa (R-CA) would block the payment of environmental fines to California environmental agencies.

A rider in the Transportation appropriation (Sec. 415) offered by Rep. Latham (R-IA) would prohibit compliance with the European Union's aviation greenhouse gas trading program.

A provision in the General Government appropriation (Sec. 622) offered by Rep. Alexander (R-LA) would prohibit paying a salary of the Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 621.

A provision in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 419) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would require the President to submit a report to the House and Senate appropriations committees on "all Federal agency funding, programs, projects and activities in fiscal year 2011" on climate change. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 419.

A rider in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (sec. 7081) offered by Rep. Rogers (R-KY) would reverse the President's policy of not backing funding for most new overseas coal plants.

Top of page

Clean Energy

A provision in Energy and Water appropriations (Sec. 518) offered by Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) would prevent the Department of Energy from using media to promote alternative clean energy technologies as a way of reducing fossil fuel use.

A rider in the Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 522) offered by Rep. Gosar (R-AZ) would prevent the federal Power Marketing Administration from upgrading its transmission grids to better integrate renewables, energy efficiency and improve cyber-security.

A rider in the Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 534) offered by Rep. Fleming (R-LA) would prevent the Western Area Power Marketing Authority from assisting in financing the constructing new transmission lines to bring more renewable resources onto the grid.

A rider in the Defense appropriation (Sec. 10015) offered by Rep. Young (R-FL) would prevent the purchase or production of advanced biofuels or other non-petroleum replacement fuels.

A provision in the Transportation appropriation (Sec. 192) offered by Rep. Latham (R-IA) would block funding of the California High-Speed Rail Program.

Top of page

Clean Water

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 435) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently prohibit EPA from clarifying which streams and wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act. Blocking EPA would threaten those waters, many of which are sources of drinking water and help with flood control. Identical language appears in the Energy and Water appropriation (Sec.107), since EPA and the Army Corps jointly enforce aspects of the Clean Water Act.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 436) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would, for the fiscal year, block the Department of Interior (DOI) from enforcing safeguards designed to protect streams from pollution from surface coal mining.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 437) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would require a report to Congress before EPA could strengthen limitations on pollution from urban stormwater systems.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 448) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently block the EPA from controlling the use of water by power plants. Power plants use enormous amounts of water for cooling, and then discharge it into rivers, streams and other bodies of water.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 450) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would prevent the public from getting information on where industrial livestock operations are, how much waste they generate, whether and to what extent they pollute waterways, and if they are complying with the Clean Water Act.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 452) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from limiting pollution from runoff from logging roads.

A rider in the Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 112) offered by Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) would permanently prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from updating the definition of "fill material" or "discharge of fill material," allowing the mining industry to continue dumping toxic waste from mountaintop removal activities into mountain streams. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 115.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 442) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently exempt certain stormwater discharges from being regulated in municipalities' Clean Water Act discharge permits for cities with fewer than 100,000 residents.

A rider in the Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 515) offered by Rep. Scalise (R-LA) would prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from utilizing enhanced wetlands replacement strategies that attempt to replicate the functionality of a destroyed wetland, rather than just replace the lost acreage.

A rider in Energy and Water appropriations (Sec. 522) offered by Rep. Noem (R-SD) would prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from charging a fee on water withdrawn from the Missouri river. This would allow oil and gas companies to use huge amounts of water for free for hydraulic fracturing to the detriment of other water users and without any benefit to taxpayers.

Two provisions in Energy and Water appropriations (Sec. 526 and Sec. 527) both offered by Rep. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) would prevent work on comprehensive analyses that ensure better management of the different uses of the Missouri River based on the needs of the people and the environment.

Top of page

Energy Efficiency

A provision in the Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 307) offered by Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) would prevent the Department of Energy from fully funding the weatherization assistance program by limiting salary payments.

A rider in the Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 509) offered by Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) would prevent the government from shutting down the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

A rider in the Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 513) offered by Rep. Burgess (R-TX) would block enforcement of the standard requiring light bulbs to be more efficient. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 322.

A rider in Energy and Water appropriations (Sec. 516) offered by Rep. Blackburn (R-TN) would prevent the Department of Energy from finalizing or enforcing energy efficiency standards for ceiling fans and ceiling fan light kits.

Top of page

Lands

A provision in the Interior and Environment appropriation (pg. 9) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would block funding for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), a network of public-private partnerships that provide shared science to ensure the sustainability of America's land, water, wildlife and cultural resources.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (pg. 9) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently prohibit the creation or expansion of wildlife refuges.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 114) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently make it more difficult for citizens to challenge Bureau of Land Management land use decisions in the courts. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 122 updated to only apply temporarily through 2015.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 118) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently block implementation of the "Wild Lands" initiative unveiled by then-Interior Secretary Salazar in 2010. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 124.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 119) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would exempt the trailing of livestock across public lands and the implementation of trailing practices by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. It would also preclude trailing decisions from be being protested by stakeholders. (Trailing is the practice of deliberately moving herds of sheep or cows across miles of federal lands.) Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 125.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 407) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently allow the Secretary of Agriculture to rely on outdated forest plans, ignoring the reality that national forests are quickly changing in the face of climate change. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 407.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 409) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would prohibit the taking of land by eminent domain without approval by the Appropriations committee, with the exception of Federal assistance to Florida for Everglades restoration.< Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 409.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 410) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently set a minimum size of Alaskan timber sales in Region 10, an area that includes the Tongass and Chugach national forests.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 411) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would exempt grazing permits from environmental reviews indefinitely. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 411 as temporary through 2015.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 432) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently limit Forest Service review and appeals processes. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 431.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 434) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently increase the maximum authorized term of grazing permits issued for domestic livestock on public lands from 10 years to 20.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 453) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently exempt from environmental review grazing allotments that are assigned to replace ones made unusable by drought or wildfire.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 454) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently prevent the Forest Service from imposing any restrictions on off-road vehicle use.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 455) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently prevent the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management from regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands to protect water, and from managing water resources in order to protect fish and wildlife.

A provision in the Agriculture appropriation (Sec. 718) offered by Rep. Anderholt (R-AL) would block any funds from being spent on the following conservation programs: Watershed Rehabilitation program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Farmland Protection Program, the Wetlands Reserve Program, the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Act, and the Agricultural Management Assistance Program. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in sec. 718, but narrowed to only block funding for the Watershed Rehabilitation Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

A rider in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Sec. 572) offered by Rep. Rogers (R-KY) would prevent the National Flood Insurance Program from updating premium rates. Updating premiums to reflect the most recent flood maps is necessary to ensure that property owners understand the true risk of flooding.

Top of page

Oceans

*A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 439) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would prevent implementation of the National Ocean Policy (NOP), a landmark policy designed to safeguard our oceans and coasts. The rider also requires a report on all FY2011, FY2012, and FY2013 spending on the NOP and requires the President's budget proposal for FY 2015 [and beyond!] to identify all proposed funding for NOP. Divisions G-I, page 1 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, Joint Explanatory Statement requires a report on all NOP spending from FY11 to FY13 and identifying proposed funding in all future budget proposals; however, the rider blocking implementation of the NOP was not included.

A rider in the Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 532) offered by Rep. Flores (R-TX) would prevent implementation of the National Ocean Policy (NOP), a landmark policy designed to safeguard our oceans and coasts.

A provision in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Joint Explanatory Statement, Division B, page 8) prevents funding for Regional Ocean Partnership grants as proposed in the President's Budget. These grants are an important tool in allowing states to work together to address issues such as the siting of offshore renewable energy, habitat protection, marine debris and coastal pollution.

Top of page

Toxics

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (page 90) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would prevent the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's from adding new toxic substances to the list of waste materials considered hazardous. Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 in page 813.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 443) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would block EPA from enforcing rules to limit exposure to lead paint.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 444) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would block EPA from requiring industries with high probability of polluting from carrying insurance to cover environmental damages they cause. This amendment would allow these risky industries to pass off the damages they cause to the public. Superfund is based on the theory of polluter pays; this amendment changes that to taxpayer pays.

Top of page

Wildlife

A provision in the Interior and Environment appropriation (pg. 16) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would prohibit researching endangered species on private property.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 120) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would prohibit the listing of the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.

A rider in the Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 438) offered by Rep. Simpson (R-ID) would permanently block any limits on the use or access to federal land for hunting, fishing, or recreational shooting if those activities were allowed as of January 1, 2013.

A rider in the Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 531) offered by Rep. King (R-IA) would prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing measures to ensure the survival of the endangered pallid sturgeon.

A rider in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (sec. 127) offered by Rep. Rogers (R-KY) would force the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to reissue a rule that has been struck down in court exempting three endangered wildlife species -- the scimitar-horned oryx, the dama gazelle, and addax -- from key protections of the Endangered Species Act requiring an individual to acquire a permit from FWS before hunting a foreign endangered species.

Top of page

last revised 1/16/2014

All Tags [ View Popular Tags ]:
60mpg
AB 1493
ACES
air pollution
American Energy and Infrastructure Act
appropriations
asthma
automakers
biofuels
biomass
boiler pollution
Boiler Standards
bp oil disaster
budget
bush administration
California
cap 2.0
cap and trade
cars
chemicals
children's health
Clean Air Act
clean energy
clean energy economy
clean vehicles
Clean Water Act
clean water act permits
clean water act permitting
climate
Climate Security Act
Congress
congressional record
driving
emissions
energy
energy efficiency
energy efficient light bulbs
energy policy
energy security
energyappropriations
energyapprops
environmental history
environmental impact statements
environmental law
environmental protection agency
environmental review
EPA
federal judges
FIFRA
fiscal cliff
fish & fishing
fisheries
florida
Forests
fuel efficiency
gas prices
global warming
global warming emissions
global warming legislation
Gulf
H.R. 7
hastings bills
health
Hurricane Katrina
interiorappropriations
interiorapprops
International
international agreements
legislation
light bulb efficiency standards
light bulbs and mercury
livestock farms
marine conservation
marine mammals
mercury
Montreal Protocol
NEPA
nrdc history
obama administration
ocean policy
oceans
offshore
offshore drilling
oil
oil drilling
overfishing
ozone
pollution
power plants
REINS
renewable energy
respiratory illness
riders
rivers
rolling back light bulb standards
san joaquin
science-baed catch limits
sewage
smart growth
smog air pollution
solutions
spending cuts
sprawl
stormwater
toxic chemicals
traffic
transportation
trasnportation
vehicle emissions
vehicle miles traveled
vehicles
VMT
water pollution
whales

Sign up for NRDC's online newsletter

See the latest issue >

Give the Gift That Will Make a Difference: Take Down a Polluter

NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs

Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.


Donate now >

Share | |
Find NRDC on
YouTube