美國新任國會將公有地法案交付討論 | 環境資訊中心

美國新任國會將公有地法案交付討論

2009年01月15日
摘譯自2009年1月12日ENS美國,華府報導;陳維婷編譯;蔡麗伶、禾引審校

佛來恩特水壩過去用於灌溉及水發電。圖片提供:K.J. Kolb。由民主黨主導的美國第111屆國會即使在1月11日也加班趕工,國會多數黨領袖內華達州參議員利德(Harry Reid)把握時間施展伸手,首要之務就是推動一個大型公有地法案配套計畫。

參議員們投下了本屆的第一票,同意在下星期討論一項包含了160個公有地法案的配套措施,並進行表決。法案內容將保護9個州共2億英畝(8千萬公頃)的野生保留區,涵蓋了加州、科羅拉多州、愛達荷州、新墨西哥州、密西根州、奧勒崗州、猶他州、維吉尼亞州與西維吉尼亞州。

法案也將保護奧勒崗州、加州、 愛達荷州、亞歷桑那州、懷俄明州、與麻州境內1千英里(1600公里)河流沿岸共27萬英畝(11萬公頃)的土地的,並為聯邦轄下新添2800英里(4500公里)的步道。

這項正式名稱為「2009公有地管理綜合法」的S.22法案又被暱稱為「湯姆法案(Tomnibus)」,因為其中包含的幾項措施過去一直被奧克拉荷馬州參議員湯姆科伯恩(Tom Coburn)阻擋,原本是外科醫師的科伯恩議員也因此得到「否決醫生(Dr. No)」的稱號。

這次的立法案科伯恩參議員照樣投下反對票,還提出13項修正案,民主黨與共和黨所提出的計畫內容都遭到點名。

除此之外,科伯恩也反對一項在懷俄明的土地限制保護案,因為當地可能蘊藏8.8兆立方英呎(2千5百億立方公尺)的天然氣,以及3億桶原油。

但是最讓科伯恩火大的是一項被他批評為「花10億救500隻鮭魚的加州水域計畫」。這項計畫的確需要10億美元以上的聯邦經費,外加2億的加州政府經費,以資助聖華欽河(San Joaquin River)的保育安置法案。

這項安置計畫是自然資源守衛委員會(Natural Resources Defense Council)與13個保育、漁業團體控告美國國土復育局局長羅傑斯(Kirk Rodgers),並且在2006年9月13日贏得訴訟後而通過。Elk River 是2009公有地法案保護下的河川之一。圖片提供: Lance Nix。

在沙加緬度的聯邦法官判定國土復育局非法放乾聖華欽河,這條加州長度第二的河流。判決結果代表該局必須將水釋回佛萊斯諾(Fresno)附近的佛來恩特水壩(Friant Dam),是55年來的第一次。

在本項綜合法案中還有奧勒崗參議員懷登(Wyden)主導的7項公有地法案。懷登的法案之一是在胡德山(Mount Hood)劃定8個野生保留區,還有一個是在西斯奇由(Siskiyou)國家森林設立13700英畝(5500公頃)的鮭魚野生保留區。

在110屆國會結束前,這兩項法案都獲參議院能源與自然資源委員會通過,卻被「否決醫生」擋下。科伯恩議員阻擋參議員對整個立法案進行表決的行動,已經被1月11日的投票結果成功扭轉。

U.S. Senate Breaks Blockade of Public Lands Bills by Dr. No
WASHINGTON, DC, January 12, 2009 (ENS) -

Sunday was a working day for the brand new 111th Congress, now in the control of Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada lost no time in using his authority to make a massive omnibus public lands package the first order of business.

Casting their first vote, the senators agreed to consider and vote later this week on the package of 160 public lands bills that would protect 200 million acres of wilderness in nine states - California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Michigan, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The bill would safeguard over 270,000 acres along over 1,000 miles of rivers in Oregon, California, Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming, and Massachusetts and add 2,800 miles of new trails to the federal system.

Entitled the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, S.22, the bill is known informally as the "Tomnibus" Bill because it combines many measures blocked in the past by Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a physician nicknamed "Dr. No."

Coburn again objected to the legislation and has filed 13 amendments to the package that he says target both Republican and Democrat projects.

Among other things, he objects to a provision that protects lands in Wyoming that might produce about 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 300 million barrels of oil.

But Coburn's greatest ire is directed at what he calls, "a $1 billion California water project to restore 500 salmon." This project does require more than $1 billion in federal funds plus $200 million from the state of California to fund the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act.

The settlement refers to the September 13, 2006, settlement in a lawsuit won by the Natural Resources Defense Council and 13 conservation and fishing groups who sued Kirk Rodgers, regional director of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

A federal judge in Sacramento ruled that the Bureau of Reclamation illegally dried up California's second longest river, the San Joaquin. The ruling means that the bureau will have to release water from Friant Dam near Fresno for the first time in 55 years.

Contained in the omnibus bill are seven public lands bills authored by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. Wyden's bills, including one designating eight wilderness areas on Mount Hood and another protecting 13,700 acres in the Siskiyou National Forest as the Copper Salmon Wilderness Area, had each passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee before the end of the 110th Congress but were blocked by Dr. No. Sunday's vote overrides Senator Coburn's efforts to block the Senate from voting on the legislation.