Senate Protects 2 Million Acres (and Bill Clinton’s Childhood Home)

Monday, January 12, 2009
Bill Clinton's Childhood Home

A collection of 160 bills making its way through the Senate may possibly bestow the nation’s highest level of environmental protection on over 2 million acres of public land, the largest act of wilderness preservation in 25 years. The bill will also turn former President Bill Clinton’s childhood home in Hope, Arkansas, into a National Historic site. Some Republicans fought against the bill, which received overwhelming support in a preliminary vote, complaining of measures forbidding energy development in the protected lands and making the nation increasingly dependent on foreign oil. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla), a firm opponent of the measure, also criticized the speed with which Democrats forced the bill through the Senate, stating, “I am disappointed the Senate majority leader has refused to allow senators the opportunity to improve, amend or eliminate any of the questionable provisions in his omnibus lands bill." Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) noted that about half the bills in the measure were sponsored by Republicans, and that most had been circulating in Congress for more than a year. 

Senate Boosts Wilderness Protection Across U.S. (by Matthew Daly, Associated Press)
Bill S.22 (Library of Congress)


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