Ryan Zinke on Environment
The move was opposed by the Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, and other environmental groups. The rollback was praised by the National Rifle Association, as well as other "gun rights advocates, sportsmen's groups, conservatives and state wildlife agencies."
While we were hopeful [about] Zinke, we were soon disappointed, then appalled, as his doors were soon darkened by profiteers, big game hunters, oil executives, and climate deniers. Under Zinke, national monuments were carved up and reopened for development, exemplified by the reduction of Bears Ears national monument under the guise of a "review" under which Native American input was left out and public opposition ignored. Then Zinke rolled out a series of poorly conceived ideas: eliminate national park passes for the active military and fourth graders, and increase national park entrance fees.
Last month, 14 members of Congress criticized Secretary Zinke in a formal letter, stating, "Morale is already low at NPS, due to rampant underfunding coupled with increased visitation, a highly questionable department-wide reorganization proposal, a continuing climate of harassment, and the failure of the White House to nominate a permanent NPS director."
The Trump administration, with Zinke's input, in its most recent budget proposal would have cut another 1,800 Park Service staff--more than 9 percent of its already-reduced workforce. While Congress rejected this plan, staffing needs continue to go unaddressed.
A BILL to require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national disclosure standard for bioengineered foods.
Cato Institute recommendation on voting YES: President Obama quietly signed legislation requiring special labeling for commercial foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)--plants and animals with desirable genetic traits that were directly implanted in a laboratory. Most of the foods that humans & animals have consumed for millennia have been genetically modified, by cross-fertilization. Yet the new law targets only the highly precise gene manipulations done in laboratories. Anti-GMO activists oppose the new law because it preempts more rigorous regulation. And that's exactly the goal of this bill, to the frustration of the anti-GMO crowd.
JustLabelit.org recommendation on voting NO (because not restrictive enough): Senators Roberts (R-KS) and Stabenow (D-MI) introduced a compromise bill that would create a mandatory, national labeling standard for GMO foods. This bill falls short of what consumers expect--a simple at-a-glance disclosure on the package. As written, this compromise might not even apply to ingredients derived from GMO soybeans and GMO sugar beets. We in the consumer rights community have dubbed this the "Deny Americans the Right-to-Know" Act (DARK Act). We need to continue pressing for mandatory GMO labeling on the package.
Heritage Foundation recommendation on voting NO (because too restrictive): The House should allow [states, at their choice,] to impose [a more] restrictive labeling mandate, but prohibit the state from regulating out-of-state food manufacturers engaged in interstate commerce. Instituting a new, sweeping, federal mandate that isn't based on proven science shouldn't even be an option.
Legislative outcome: Passed by the Senate on July 7th, passed by the House on July 14th; signed by the President on July 29th
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