美國200萬英畝保護區法案 遭眾議院以兩票之差否決 | 環境資訊中心

美國200萬英畝保護區法案 遭眾議院以兩票之差否決


位在俄勒岡州的Copper Salmon荒原將能在2009年的《綜合公共土地管理法》下受到保護;攝影:Justin Rohde美國共和黨眾議員日前擋下了2009公有地管理綜合法案(the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act),此一廣泛性土地法案將指定出200萬公頃的野生地、受保護的河川與歷史遺跡,並使國家景觀保留區系統(the National Landscape Conservation System)能合法永存。這樣的措施將擴大12個國家公園,並正面處理加州的水源供應問題。

然而因為程序性的策略作法,要使投票通過必須達到2/3以上的高票。282比144的票數結果使此法案以兩票之差而無法通過。其中共有34名共和黨員投下贊成票。共和黨研究委員會主席暨喬治亞州國會議員普萊斯(Tom Price)表示,他與其他保守的共和黨員之所以反對這個「自肥的配套」,因為它將阻絕數百萬公頃土地的能源開發,擴大聯邦政府的持有地,使政府控制更多美國土地,並蹂躪私有財產權。



非營利組織「共和黨員環境保護協會」(Republicans for Environmental Protection,REP)政府事務執行長傑金斯(David Jenkins)表示:「這個法案是讓國會考慮多年的最重要保育立法,它已經通過參議院兩黨皆認可的強力支持。不幸的是共和黨議院領袖利用極端的辯詞來轉移焦點到反保育的論述,阻絕了法案的通過。」

此法案將准許國家景觀保留區系統(NLCS)的法定永存,使之成為美國最新的保育公有地的網絡。其包含由土地管理局(he Bureau of Land Management)管轄的野生土地、保留區、國家紀念碑、野生河川以及歷史遺跡等。

REP政策執行長帝帕索(Jim DiPeso)表示:「真正的保育必須附帶道德責任,才能代表下一代來保護我們的自然與歷史遺產。不幸的是,眾議院政黨所稱的保育還必須學習,來了解保育的真諦。」

荒野協會(The Wilderness Society)也表示,抗爭將會持續直至通過立法。發言人貝里(Laura Bailey)表示:「今天無疑是精神上的打擊,但是讓我與同仁迅速復原之一的原因是,這項法案近乎通過。這使我們更堅定地認為,國會需要繼續傾聽我們對於公有地法案的需求。如同一個荒野協會的無畏領導者在開票後所言:『這絕不是結束,今天只是代表最後結果的延遲到來,並不是失敗。這僅僅是一個偉大故事的另一篇章而已。』」


House Rejects Massive Public Lands Protection Package
WASHINGTON, DC, March 11, 2009 (ENS)

House Republicans today blocked the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, a comprehensive lands bill that would have designated two million acres of wilderness, protected rivers and trails, and given legal permanence to the National Landscape Conservation System. The measure also would have enlarged a dozen national parks and addressed water supply problems in California.

Because of a procedural maneuver used to get this vote to the floor, a majority of two-thirds was needed. The 282-144 vote in favor fell two votes short of approval. Thirty-four Republicans voted yes.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Congressman Tom Price of Georgia said he and other conservative Repubicans oppose "the pork-filled package" because it would block millions of acres for energy development, expand federal land holdings, give the government even more control over American land, and trample private property rights."

"This bill represents so much of what is wrong with Washington," said Price. "With it, Democrats aimed to transfer power from the people to the government, expand the government's role as the nation's largest landlord, drive up energy prices, and spend even more money on wasteful pork projects. This is not the agenda of the American people. With Americans looking for economic relief, now is not the time to obstruct American energy production and further expand Washington's reach."

On January 15, the Senate approved the package - 164 separate bills bundled together - with a bipartisan vote of 73-21. The House could vote again on the measure as early as next week. Conservation groups across the political spectrum who had labored for years to persuade Congress to pass this legislation were bitterly disappointed with today's vote.

"This bill was the most important conservation legislation that Congress had considered in many years. It passed out of the Senate with strong bipartisan support. Unfortunately, House Republican leaders used extremist rhetoric to block passage by raising anti-conservation red herrings," said David Jenkins, government affairs director with the nonprofit Republicans for Environmental Protection.

The bill would have granted statutory permanence to the National Landscape Conservation System, America's newest network of protected public lands. The NLCS includes wilderness lands, conservation areas, national monuments, wild rivers, and historic trails overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.
"True conservatism imposes a moral duty to protect our natural and historical heritage on behalf of future generations. Unfortunately, the so-called conservatives in charge of our party in the House have a lot to learn about what it means to be truly conservative," said REP Policy Director Jim DiPeso.

The Wilderness Society also says the fight must go on to pass this legislation. Spokesperson Laura Bailey said, "Today was a blow indeed. But the one great take-away for me and my colleagues was that the bill came so gloriously close to passing. It confirms that Congress needs to keep hearing that we care about the public lands bill."

"As one of our fearless leaders at The Wilderness Society said after the vote, 'It is by no means the end. Today's vote is a delay, not a defeat. This is merely another chapter in a great story.'"

To read previous ENS coverage of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, click here, and here.