NOTE: I realized almost 2 weeks late that I never actually published this. Better late than never, right?
Well, this was a busy week.
H.R.659 : To reverse the Department of the Interior’s listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, to prevent further consideration of listing of such species as a threatened species or endangered species under that Act pending implementation of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-Wide Conservation Plan and other conservation measures, and for other purposes.
What: This would de-list the LPC as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, removing federal protections for the bird.
Importance: This is another step by the current Congress to restrict the actions of the USFWS, especially when it comes to issues with the ESA.
H.R.697 : To amend the African Elephant Conservation Act of 1988 to conserve elephants while appropriately regulating ivory in the United States.
What: Trying to separate the policy of protecting elephants from reducing sale/trade of ivory.
Importance: The USFWS has taken a pretty hard stance against ivory. Ever since, opponents have continued to try and change the agency’s position.
H.R.786 : To improve access, certainty, and innovation with respect to vaccines.
Importance: Though the text of the legislation hasn’t been released, this legislation is likely a response to the current anti-vaccination movement here in the U.S.
H.R.789 : To provide for research with respect to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, and for other purposes.
Importance: I have rarely seen legislation this specific to an organism or disease.
H.R.646 : To amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the Farmington River and Salmon Brook in the State of Connecticut as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes.
H.R.693 : To establish the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area, and for other purposes.
H.R.703 : To repeal the renewable fuel program of the Environmental Protection Agency.
H.R.704 : To amend the Clean Air Act to eliminate certain requirements under the renewable fuel program, to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from approving the introduction into commerce of gasoline that contains greater than 10-volume-percent ethanol, and for other purposes.
H.R.792 : To provide for no net increase in the total acreage of certain Federal land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, or the Forest Service, and for other purposes.
H.R.794 : To establish a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Master Teacher Corps program.
S.329 : A bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the Farmington River and Salmon Brook in the State of Connecticut as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes.
S.338 : A bill to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
S.375 : Small BREW Act