Weak Transportation Bill Undermines Environmental Safeguards

June 29, 2012
Keystone, coal ash disposal provisions excluded, but Senate makes damaging and unnecessary concessions to anti-environmental House Republicans.

The House and Senate reached an agreement to pass the first transportation bill since 2005.

Following is a statement from Natural Resources Defense Council Legislative Director Scott Slesinger:

“Senate Democrats wisely stood up to House Republicans’ attempts to use the transportation bill to ram through unrelated, anti-environmental provisions on the Keystone tar sands pipeline and coal ash disposal.

“But unfortunately, the Senate also agreed to damaging and unnecessary concessions that weaken environmental reviews of highway projects — reducing public oversight and excluding some from review entirely. They also made to concessions that cut funding for transportation choices that would reduce traffic, reduce our dependence on oil and improve our health and environment.

“Given that the House could not even manage to pass a complete bill while the Senate had approved a bipartisan measure, the American people had every reason to expect a better outcome.”

For more details on the transportation bill, please see NRDC Federal Transportation Policy Director Deron Lovaas’ blog here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dlovaas/