Conservation and Economic Growth Act

Floor Speech

By:  Bob Filner
Date: June 19, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FILNER. I thank you, Mr. Markey.

I rise in opposition to the bill, especially to the border provisions of the bill, and I rise in support of the Grijalva amendment that is going to be coming.

I represent the entire California-Mexico border. I know how harmful this bill can be. As I read the exemptions from laws, I can see--I don't know--undocumented child labor filling in wetlands.

I mean, come on.

Our natural beauty depends on these protections. These laws protect us, and the Department of Homeland Security, as I understand it, is not in support of these provisions. They testified in July of 2011:

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency enjoys a close working relationship with the Department of the Interior and with the Department of Agriculture that allows us to fulfill our border enforcement responsibilities while respecting and enhancing the environment.

This excessive exemption from a century's worth of environmental protection laws would affect public lands and national parks all across the country.

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Mr. FILNER. This would put in danger important parks and monuments, not only in my area, but those such as the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Cape Cod in Massachusetts, Point Reyes in California, Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina, and scores of others. We must protect these important national parks, recreation areas, and wilderness lands for future generations.

Mr. Chairman, I also invited the gentleman, Mr. Denham, whose bill this is, to join me at the border to see what we would be protecting. I don't think he ever answered my letter.

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