Document Type


Publication Date

January 2011



First Page



INTRODUCTION: Environmental laws and the ecosystems they support are under attack. Intermittently since the Reagan administration and increasingly since the 2008 economic collapse, certain politicians and their industry sponsors have inundated the media with angry rhetoric, blaming historic job losses on "overregulation."' Environmental laws are a frequent target of these politicians who often benefit from contributions supplied by the fossil fuel and mining industries. Ignoring the successes of these laws- cleaner air, cleaner water, and recovering imperiled wild species and habitat-they claim that environmental regulations are "job killers." Reflecting the success of these claims, the recent House Fiscal Year 2012 Interior and Environment spending bill contained forty-two proposed anti-environmental riders. These riders range from limiting the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to curb carbon emissions to blocking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's ability to list new threatened and endangered species.