Tea Party Congressman Protects US From Manatee Overlords

At least we have Rep. Rich Nugent (R-Fla.) to protect us from the manatees.

Nugent, a first-term congressman representing Citrus County, has filed an amendment to a Department of the Interior appropriations bill that would bar the agency from protecting the manatees of Kings Bay in Florida. As I reported several weeks ago, local tea party activists, who propelled Nugent to victory last fall, are incensed about proposed protections that would make the entire bay a sanctuary for the for the giant sea mammals. Some have gone so far as to allege that the manatee protections are part of a greater, more insidious plan to instate a One World Order of sustainability.

Nugent’s proposed amendment, highlighted by Brad Johnson of Think Progress, joins a long list of other measures Republicans are proposing to block government action on a variety of environmental issues. Some others that he notes:

Scott (R-Ga.): None of the funds for climate change research.

Fahrenthold (R-Texas): None of the funds to interfere with States’ efforts to regulate hydraulic fracturing.

Blackburn (R-Tenn.): Prohibits the appropriated agencies from buying compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Blackburn (R-Tenn.): Bar funding for the SunWise Program, an EPA program to teach parents, teachers, and children about what they should do to protect kids from overexposure to the sun.

Fleming (R-La.): Eliminate funding for the Energy Star program.

Flores (R-Texas): None of the funds to enforce section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to prohibit federal purchases of high-carbon fuels.

Lankford (R-Okla.): None of the funds for the President’s Council on Environmental Quality.

King (R-Iowa): None of the funds to enforce the Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Program.

Stivers (R-Ohio): None of the funds to regulate stationary source greenhouse gases for two years.

These are in addition to dozens of anti-environmental riders already included in the appropriations bill, like one that would open up the Grand Canyon for uranium mining.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.