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.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.