Download this letter here.
Dear Chairman Shelby, Chairwoman Lowey, Ranking Member Leahy, and Ranking Member Granger:
On behalf of our millions of members and supporters across the country, we respectfully request that you help protect the environment and healthy communities by increasing funding for key environmental agencies and programs in Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21). A final omnibus conference agreement should meet or exceed the funding levels laid out in the House’s FY21 bills, exclude harmful legacy riders, and ensure that COVID-related costs are provided for in emergency titles.
It is imperative that agencies and programs tasked with essential environmental functions have the resources they need to effectively safeguard our wildlife, natural and historic landmarks, oceans, drinking water, air quality, and more. These vital institutions also advance science and research, which provide a guiding light for informed decision making and technologies needed to address the climate crisis. Unfortunately, these agencies and programs have been chronically underfunded for years. Though we recognize this year’s budgetary constraints, we ask that you increase 302(b) allocations and provide additional funding for environmental priorities.
We also urge you to remove legacy poison pill riders grandfathered in from previous budget cycles. These perennial legacy riders would restrict the incoming administration from effectively protecting our environment and public health. These provisions do not belong in appropriations bills, and we ask that you exclude them.
Finally, we urge you to include the emergency titles in the House funding bills, in order to cover emergency costs that agencies incur this year. This emergency funding is necessary to ensure that agencies and programs overseeing environmental priorities are able to dedicate, at a minimum, the same resources as last year toward their missions—rather than drawing from those funds to pay expenses related to COVID-19.
Environmental funding is a priority for our groups and our community, including many of your constituents. We stand ready to support your leadership in meeting this funding request. Thank you for considering our views and for your work to meet the country’s needs during this difficult time.
Alaska Wilderness League
American Hiking Society
Animal Wellness Action
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Clean Water Action
Climate Law & Policy Project
Conservation Lands Foundation
Defenders of Wildlife
Endangered Species Coalition
Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Law & Policy Center
Environmental Protection Network
Environmental Working Group
Friends of the Earth
Humane Society Legislative Fund
Interfaith Power & Light
League of Conservation Voters
National Audubon Society
National Parks Conservation Association
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
Partnership for the National Trail
System Public Lands Alliance
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
The Trust for Public Land
The Wilderness Society
The Wildlife Society
Union of Concerned Scientists