Environmental Coalition Letter of Support for Increased FY23 Funding

November 30, 2022

The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Capitol S-146A
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Richard Shelby
Vice Chairman
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Capitol S-128
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Rosa L. DeLauro
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
Capitol H-307
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Kay Granger
Ranking Member
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
1036 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Leahy, Vice Chairman Shelby, Chairwoman DeLauro, and Ranking Member

On behalf of our tens of millions of members and supporters across the country, we respectfully request that you support significantly increased funding for environmental agencies and programs in the FY23 omnibus. We also ask that you reject any anti-environmental policy riders, including those carried forward from prior funding bills.

We support the FY23 bills that the House approved this summer, and similarly appreciate many of the funding increases in the draft Senate bills as well as the omission of harmful riders. In the omnibus, it is particularly important that Congress meets the House allocation of $44.8 billion
for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. While multiple subcommittees provide for critical environmental work, an inadequate allocation for the Interior bill would uniquely hamper the nation’s efforts to promote environmental justice and protect our health, lands, wildlife, air, water, oceans, and climate.

Also of critical importance is the need to reject harmful anti-environmental policy riders. These damaging provisions have no place in the appropriations process and over the years have contributed to significant and avoidable environmental degradation. We urge you to keep anti-environmental provisions out of the FY23 omnibus, whether they are new this year or carried forward from previous appropriations bills.

Funding in FY23 must go further than merely keeping pace with inflation, providing for current services, and restoring lost capacity. The Interior bill received a 4.6% increase last year following a decade of insufficient funding imposed by the draconian spending caps of the Budget Control Act. That increase was less than the rate of inflation and below the average increase of 6.7% across all nondefense discretionary spending in FY22. It translated to little-to-no practical increase for many critical environmental programs. Funding these crucial programs will create good-paying union jobs and revitalize our communities while reducing harmful pollution, promoting environmental justice, and protecting public lands, oceans, and wildlife.

Under your leadership, Congress has an historic opportunity to make a genuine difference in the lives of the public by securing a more just and prosperous future for all and protecting the health of our planet.

We again urge you to pass an omnibus spending bill this December with a robust allocation to the Interior and Environment subcommittee well above inflation. We also urge you to refrain from including anti-environmental policy riders.

We thank you for your consideration of our views and stand ready to support you in meeting this


Alaska Wilderness League
American Bird Conservancy
American Hiking Society
American Rivers
American Society of Landscape Architects
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Change the Chamber
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Clean Water Action
Coalition to Protect America's National
Conservation Lands Foundation
Continental Divide Trail Coalition
Defenders of Wildlife
Endangered Species Coalition
Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Law & Policy Center
Environmental Protection Network
Environmental Working Group
Evergreen Action
Friends of Acadia
Friends of Dyke Marsh
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Inyo

Sierra Foothills Audubon Society
Sierra Forest Legacy
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
The CLEO Institute
The Wilderness Society

Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition
Hip Hop Caucus
Hispanic Access Foundation
Hispanic Federation
Impact Fund
Interfaith Power & Light
International Inbound Travel Association
Kids for Saving Earth
Lassen Forest Preservation Group
League of Conservation Voters
Los Padres ForestWatch
Michigan Sustainable Business Forum
National Audubon Society
National Ocean Protection Coalition
National Parks Conservation Association
National Wildlife Federation
National Wildlife Refuge Association
Natural Resources Defense Council
New Progressive Alliance
Ocean Conservancy
Ocean Defense Initiative
Pacific Crest Trail Association
Pacific Environment
Partnership for Policy Integrity
Partnership for the National Trails System
Rachel Carson Council
Shenandoah National Park Trust
Sierra Club

Union of Concerned Scientists
Voices for Progress
Waterway Advocates
Western Watersheds Project
WildEarth Guardians

Cc: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy
Senate Interior Subcommittee Chairman Jeffrey A. Merkley
House Interior Subcommittee Chairwoman Chellie Pingree
Senate Interior Subcommittee Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski
House Interior Subcommittee Ranking Member David P. Joyce