The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will conduct a hearing today with testimony from industrial-scale agribusinesses aiming to repeal the Endangered Species Act and eliminate the Clean Water Act, according to EcoWatch.
Many conservation laws are in jeopardy including “exempting pesticides from the protections of the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act,” according to EcoWatch.
The EPA, under Scott Pruitt, a well-known climate change denier, recently reversed the ban on the toxic insecticide, chlorpyrifos, which scientists have linked to birth defects in children and endangering salmon and sturgeon from going extinct on both coasts of the U.S.
The Senate committee, which is led by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), is being accused of working with and for the pesticide industry in an attempt to repeal protections against endangered wildlife and clean water.
“It’s really disturbing to see Barrasso and other Senate Republicans bending over backward to please polluters and the pesticide industry,” Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said. “The price will be dirtier rivers and streams, and more wildlife on the fast track toward extinction.”
Barrasso, who is known in Congress as anti-wildlife, voted against the Endangered Species Act many time dating back to 2011, as well as sponsored nine legislative attacks on the Act in just two years, according to EcoWatch.
“Senator Barrasso is using this hearing as a smokescreen to eviscerate these vital conservation laws, stoking fears that we’ll all starve to death if we don’t jettison our environmental safeguards,” Hartl said. “This is totally out of step with what the American people want. What a despicable sideshow.”
A 2015 poll showed many Americans approved of the Endangered Species Acton and nine out of 10 Americans would like the Act to either strengthen or stay the same.
More than 250 organizations sent a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to uphold the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act.