Spending Pact Contains Big Wins for Environment, But Ending Crude Oil Export Ban is a Mistake

WASHINGTON (December 16, 2015) -- The following is a statement by Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, on the spending and tax agreement that Congress must approve and President Obama must sign in the coming days in order to keep the government from shutting down.

“This agreement contains important wins for the environment, thanks to the steadfast work of the House and Senate Democratic Leadership and the White House. It protects funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and increases funding for the Department of Interior; it removes numerous obstacles sought by Republican leaders to block progress on climate change, clean air, clean water, land protection and endangered species; and it extends essential incentives for solar and wind power long enough to provide some real certainty for those industries. As a result, the public will be healthier and the U.S. will continue making progress on climate change.

“The major disappointment in the deal is the lifting of the ban on exporting U.S. crude oil. Republican leaders made this one of their top priorities even though it benefits oil companies at the expense of American consumers and refinery workers. The move flies in the face of other actions being taken to reduce oil use and attack climate change.

“We will continue to press the Obama Administration to put in place policies that limit the harm from the lifting of the ban, starting with protecting our coasts and climate by ensuring that drilling never again threatens the Arctic or Atlantic oceans.”


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