GOP-backed bill tries to give Homeland Security a pass on environmental laws within 100 miles of international borders for “national security”

The “National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act (H.R. 1505),” is slowly moving in the GOP-controlled House. So far hearings have been held. Supporters say it would help border patrol activities by waiving 36 laws that protect public lands within 100 miles of the Mexican and Canadian borders, plus the oceans too.

Many of American’s most famous national parks, wilderness areas and cherished public lands lie in the 100 swath. The Great Falls Tribune describes how it has become an issue in the Montana U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Jon Tester and Republican challenger. Dennis Rehberg, the lone Representative from Montana. One hundred miles is almost 1/3 of the state of Montana. This will probably emerge as an issue in other states with significant public lands near the borders or oceans.

House measure would expand Homeland Security powers, waive environmental laws. By John S. Adams. Great Falls Tribune

The bill was introduced by several well known anti-conservation Republicans, Rob Bishop of Utah and “Doc” Hastings of Washington State. The Obama Administration has testified against the bill.  Here is the full list of co-sponsors

Rep Bachus, Spencer [AL-6] – 6/3/2011
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] – 6/1/2011
Rep Brooks, Mo [AL-5] – 7/7/2011
Rep Broun, Paul C. [GA-10] – 5/26/2011
Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5] – 6/3/2011
Rep Calvert, Ken [CA-44] – 9/12/2011
Rep Canseco, Francisco “Quico” [TX-23] – 5/4/2011
Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] – 4/13/2011
Rep Chaffetz, Jason [UT-3] – 5/26/2011
Rep Coffman, Mike [CO-6] – 5/4/2011
Rep Crawford, Eric A. “Rick” [AR-1] – 6/13/2011
Rep Duncan, John J., Jr. [TN-2] – 6/3/2011
Rep Ellmers, Renee L. [NC-2] – 6/1/2011
Rep Fleischmann, Charles J. “Chuck” [TN-3] – 7/25/2011
Rep Fleming, John [LA-4] – 6/1/2011
Rep Flores, Bill [TX-17] – 7/25/2011
Rep Franks, Trent [AZ-2] – 7/26/2011
Rep Gallegly, Elton [CA-24] – 6/3/2011
Rep Gohmert, Louie [TX-1] – 7/26/2011
Rep Goodlatte, Bob [VA-6] – 6/13/2011
Rep Gosar, Paul A. [AZ-1] – 5/13/2011
Rep Hall, Ralph M. [TX-4] – 7/14/2011
Rep Hastings, Doc [WA-4] – 4/13/2011
Rep Herger, Wally [CA-2] – 6/14/2011
Rep Jenkins, Lynn [KS-2] – 6/1/2011
Rep Johnson, Bill [OH-6] – 6/22/2011
Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] – 4/13/2011
Rep King, Steve [IA-5] – 6/1/2011
Rep Labrador, Raul R. [ID-1] – 6/21/2011
Rep Lamborn, Doug [CO-5] – 7/25/2011
Rep Lankford, James [OK-5] – 6/13/2011
Rep Luetkemeyer, Blaine [MO-9] – 6/14/2011
Rep Lummis, Cynthia M. [WY] – 5/26/2011
Rep McClintock, Tom [CA-4] – 5/13/2011
Rep McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [WA-5] – 5/26/2011
Rep Miller, Candice S. [MI-10] – 5/26/2011
Rep Miller, Gary G. [CA-42] – 6/21/2011
Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] – 7/13/2011
Rep Myrick, Sue Wilkins [NC-9] – 6/13/2011
Rep Nunes, Devin [CA-21] – 7/6/2011
Rep Posey, Bill [FL-15] – 6/22/2011
Rep Rehberg, Denny [MT] – 5/4/2011
Rep Royce, Edward R. [CA-40] – 5/26/2011
Rep Smith, Lamar [TX-21] – 4/13/2011
Rep Southerland, Steve [FL-2] – 7/26/2011
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A. [GA-3] – 6/13/2011
Rep Wittman, Robert J. [VA-1] – 7/26/2011
Rep Woodall, Rob [GA-7] – 6/14/2011

Here is the text from the bill on the laws waived.

(2) DESCRIPTION OF LAWS WAIVED- The laws referred to in paragraph (1) are the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.), the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (16 U.S.C. 470aa et seq.), the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.), the Noise Control Act of 1972 (42 U.S.C. 4901 et seq.), the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.), Public Law 86-523 (16 U.S.C. 469 et seq.), the Act of June 8, 1906 (commonly known as the `Antiquities Act of 1906′) (16 U.S.C. 431 et seq.), the Act of August 21, 1935 (16 U.S.C. 461 et seq.), the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq.), the Farmland Protection Policy Act (7 U.S.C. 4201 et seq.), the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.), the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq.), the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a et seq.), the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.), subchapter II of chapter 5, and chapter 7, of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the `Administrative Procedure Act’), the Otay Mountain Wilderness Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-145, 113 Stat. 1711), sections 102(29) and 103 of California Desert Protection Act of 1994 (16 U.S.C. 410aaa et seq.), the National Park Service Organic Act (16 U.S.C. 1 et seq.), Public Law 91-383 (16 U.S.C. 1a-1 et seq.), sections 401(7), 403, and 404 of the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-625, 92 Stat. 3467), the Arizona Desert Wilderness Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 1132 note; Public Law 101-628), section 10 of the Act of March 3, 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403), the Act of June 8, 1940 (16 U.S.C. 668 et seq.), (25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.), Public Law 95-341 (42 U.S.C. 1996), Public Law 103-141 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.), the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.), and the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 (16 U.S.C. 528 et seq.).

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to House measure would waive 36 environmental laws within 100 miles of borders

  1. avatar catbestland says:

    I saw a sign once that read; “To Hell with Al Qaeda, save us from the republicans.” I quite agree.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Scary. A veritable who’s who of right wing ideologues……Why do they hate the environment? I haven’t figured that out yet…..

  2. avatar william huard says:

    Yes I saw it Jon. Remington proves he know absolutely nothing about the natural world. He turns animals killing for survival into a moral issue. I don’t know what he is worse at- reporting on wildlife issues or playing the guitar…..it’s a close call.
    The picture is truly sick, but there are plenty of people in the NRM that think like him……

  3. avatar Maska says:

    The Border Patrol already has all the authority it needs to pursue and apprehend criminals near the border. They have clearly stated they neither need nor want this kind of wholesale trashing of environmental laws. This is nothing but cynical political grandstanding, period.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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