Green groups are targeting Senate Republicans as they near their first 100 days in control, accusing them of trying to roll back key environmental regulations and failing to take climate action.

The groups cited the vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, amendments to block environmental laws in the budget resolution and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) call for states to ignore the EPA’s proposed emissions reduction regulations.

Wednesday marks the first 100 days of McConnell’s leadership, the groups noted.

{mosads}“This Congress is rewarding big oil, coal, gas, with votes, amendments, bills that attempt to undermine the fundamental bedrock laws that the environmental community has been fighting for the last 45 years,” said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, on Tuesday.

The GOP-controlled House and Senate approved the Keystone pipeline earlier this session in a bill that was vetoed by President Obama.

During debate over a non-binding budget resolution in March, Republicans also passed a handful of amendments targeting federal environmental regulations.

Republicans also have the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule in their sights, working on legislation to block what they see as an agency power grab.

Clean Water Action President and CEO Bob Wendelgass said Republicans have ignored “huge public support” for the bill that seeks to expand federal oversight of water pollution.

Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark also blasted GOP senators, saying lawmakers have introduced 34 bills that would chip away at protections in the Endangered Species Act.

“This torrent of new attacks is a clear indicator that rather than letting biological experts and federal wildlife agencies fulfill their stewardship responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act, the Senate under Majority Leader McConnell is pursuing a reckless agenda that mirrors the deregulation wish list of big oil, mining, timber development and other polluting special economic interests,” Clark said. 

The groups’ leaders said they intend to jointly confront Republicans over their environmental policies by coordinating a media blitz to draw attention to those issues.

This “green room” of environmental groups would look to counter Republican environmental policies.  Two prominent green groups, the League of Conservation Voters and the National Resources Defense Council, have already contributed to advertising buys around the country. 

“We know we’re going to get outspent by the opposition and by the polluters when it comes to both electoral politics and when it comes to lobbying,” Pica said. “But what we have is people power.”

Tags Mitch McConnell

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video