Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Letter from Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune to U.S. Senate

March 8, 2011

United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the Sierra Club’s 1.3 million members and supporters, I am writing to ask that you advocate for and vote for a robust Continuing Resolution clean of any damaging amendments or riders.  In the weeks ahead, the Senate continues to face the difficult task of crafting and passing a bill that would continue to fund vital government programs at levels that are responsible and appropriate to ensure the continued protection of American jobs, health, and the environment.

The Senate could see two versions of a Continuing Resolution on the floor as early as today.  The first is House-passed HR 1, a bill loaded with deep spending cuts and anti-environmental riders.  That bill is an outright attack on America’s air, water, and wildlife and would undermine programs to protect public health.

The other version introduced by Chairman Inouye last Friday advances a more responsible approach to funding cuts to key federal programs.  The bill, however, still includes rider language that would delist the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies from the Endangered Species List.  A species-specific decision such as this has never been legislated by Congress and would set a dangerous precedent of interfering with the Endangered Species Act.  Species management decisions such as these are legally required to be based on sound science and must be carried out by the Fish and Wildlife Service.  This language would set a precedent for making decisions based on politics instead of relying on science. 

A delisting rider does not belong in a government funding bill.  We strongly urge you to vote for a clean Continuing Resolution.


Michael Brune
Executive Director
Sierra Club