Colorado hunting, fishing, bird- watching and other environment groups rallied Friday to oppose federal legislation that they say would hurt Western economies and natural resources.
The legislation — a spending bill pushed by House Republicans and up for a full House vote next week — would allow uranium mining on public lands near the Grand Canyon, limit the government’s ability to set standards for controlling greenhouse-gas pollution and grant exemptions from laws to protect air and water. It would cut $2.1 billion from Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Interior programs that heavily affect Western states.
“What we have here is a recipe of toxic ingredients that’ll make for a very foul stew,” Colorado Wildlife Federation director Suzanne O’Neill said at the event in central Denver.
Colorado Trout Unlimited president Sinjin Eberle said the bill would weaken protection for rivers and landscapes, including the Black Canyon, just when they need greater protection. “This is a giveaway of our great outdoors,” he said.
Supporters of the bill have targeted the EPA, in particular, accusing the agency of regulatory zeal that kills jobs. They contend the legislation is necessary to reduce spending, increase certainty for companies and encourage creation of jobs.