Sigh. So here's a perfectly smart and sensible bill that's going nowhere. Has anyone been following the Highways BEE Act? It is a revenue-neutral bill (should actually save money) that directs the Secretary of Transportation to use already existing resources and programs to work with the state highway departments, which manage the greenery around interstate highways. The idea is to get them to use an already-existing approach called IVM (integrated vegetation management) to mow less, plant more natives, and allow highway right-of-ways to serve as habitat for pollinators, ground-nesting birds, etc.
Again. Revenue-neutral. Already all set up. Enjoys wide support. Expected to save the states money.
So what's the problem?
Certain members of Congress feel that the government should not be involved in highways at all, and that this bill simply represents more unwanted government interference.
That's right. You heard me. Interstate highways should not be government-run.
I'm just going to pause and let that one sink in for a minute.
If you're not sure which "certain members" I'm talking about, here's a hint: They were recently voted into office by people who shouted things like "Get the government out of my Medicare" at rallies.
The highway bill is being held up for all sorts of reasons right now. You can imagine the kind of pointless bickering that's going on.
But this? Please.
Please spread the word. If you want to tweet this out, give a little shout-out to @Pollinators, the good folks behind this thing.
Oh, and Congress? Could you please, for once, just lighten up and do something sensible and not turn everything into a huge, unnecessary drama and just get back to work and quietly and nicely do your job?
I didn't think so.Posted by Amy Stewart on February 23, 2012 at 6:29 am, in the category Ministry of Controversy.