First the bad news: The House is currently considering a spending bill for FY 2012 that is full of anti-environmental measures. You can see the list of bad provisions here.

But in a surprising move, the House voted today to strip one of the worst provisions out of the the Interior Appropriations bill. By a vote of 220-204, the House approved an amendment introduced by Rep Dicks (WA-6-D) with Reps. Fitzpatrick (PA-8-R), Thompson (CA-1-D), and Hanabusa (HI-1-D) to strip the so-called “Extinction Rider” from the bill. This provision would have prohibited the Fish and Wildlife Service from spending any money to protect new species under the Endangered Species Act, or to designate critical habitat, despite the fact that hundreds of species have been recognized as deserving of such protection and are awaiting listing under the Act. Southern New Mexico's Representative Steve Pearce voted against the amendment.

Your help is still needed to eliminate the host of other anti-environmental provisions in the bill. Please contact your Representative and Senators and urge them to vote against measures in the House Appropriations bill that weaken protections for clean air, clean water and wildlife.

Update: As if the original 38 anti-environmental riders weren't bad enough, the House is considering a boatload more of amendments that have been proposed to the bill, including an effort by Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) to defund the Mexican wolf recovery program. You can read about these amendments here.