CongressDaily this afternoon reported on a few riders that were almost included in the end-of-year budget bill, and which will likely resurface in the 109th Congress. Two are of note:
- A proposal by California developers to limit the government's authority to redefine permits for the development of critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act
- A proposal to allow the approval of pesticides without first consulting the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service about possible harm to wildlife, as currently required by law
These were not in the bill, though other environmentally unfriendly provisions which are include ones to permit snowmobiles in Yellowstone, to open the way for logging in Tongass National Forest in Alaska, to waive environmental review of grazing on public lands, to permit drilling in Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, and to allow development on Cumberland Island, Georgia, the largest undeveloped island on the East Coast.
As soon as the House fixes the noxious Istook amendment which would have opened everyone's tax returns to congressional scrutiny, the bill will be sent to the president for his signature.