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Boundary Waters Protection Bill Highlighted in House Democrats’ Action Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis

June 30, 2020
Press Release

Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) announced that the Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act (H.R. 5598) is highlighted in the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’s Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.

The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis was created by Speaker Pelosi at the start of the 116th Congress to make science-based policy recommendations on how to solve the climate crisis. Today, the select committee released its roadmap for Congress to build a prosperous, clean energy economy that values workers, advances environmental justice, and is prepared to meet the challenges of the climate crisis.

“This is a milestone moment in the work to tackle the climate crisis, and I’m proud that the conservation of some of our nation’s most treasured places is part of this comprehensive approach,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “From the pristine, clear waters to the stillness and quiet that’s nearly unmatched anywhere else in the nation – the Boundary Waters is a refuge for endangered species and humans alike. There is no acceptable risk level for sulfide-ore copper mining just footsteps away from this fragile and precious wilderness. As we continue to combat climate change, we must ensure that ecosystems with high climate mitigation, biodiversity, and cultural value, like the Boundary Waters, remain protected for generations to come.”

The Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act (H.R. 5598), introduced in January 2020, permanently prevents mineral leasing for toxic sulfide-ore copper mining on 234,328 acres of federal lands and waters within the Superior National Forest. These lands are all located within the same the watershed that flows through the BWCA, Voyageurs National Park, and shared U.S.-Canada waters protected under international treaty.

The bill’s original co-sponsors are Rep. Francis Rooney [R-FL-19], Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, [D-AZ-3], Rep. Alan S. Lowenthal [D-CA-47], Rep. Dean Phillips [D-MN-3], and Rep. Fred Upton [R-MI-6]. Additional co-sponsors of the bill are: Rep. Cynthia Axne [D-IA-3], Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan [D-CA-44], Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D-OR-3], Rep. Cheri Bustos [D-IL-17], Rep. Matt Cartwright [D-PA-8], Rep. Ed Case [D-HI-1], Rep. Sean Casten [D-IL-6], Rep. Judy Chu [D-CA-27], Rep. Steve Cohen [D-TN-9], Rep. Peter A. DeFazio [D-OR-4], Rep. Diana DeGette [D-CO-1], Rep. Debbie Dingell [D-MI-12], Rep. Anna G. Eshoo [D-CA-18], Rep. Abby Finkenauer [D-IA-1], Rep. Ruben Gallego [D-AZ-7], Rep. Jesus G. Garcia [D-IL-4], Rep. Debra A. Haaland [D-NM-1], Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, [D-FL-20], Rep. Jared Huffman [D-CA-2], Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee [D-TX-18], Rep. Daniel T. Kildee [D-MI-5], Rep. Derek Kilmer [D-WA-6], Rep. Ron Kind [D-WI-3], Rep. Barbara Lee [D-CA-13], Rep. Andy Levin [D-MI-9], Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D-CA-19], Rep. James P. McGovern [D-MA-2], Rep. Gwen Moore [D-WI-4], Rep. Grace F. Napolitano [D-CA-32], Rep. Joe Neguse [D-CO-2], Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton [D-DC-At Large], Rep. Ilhan Omar [D-MN-5], Rep. Chellie Pingree [D-ME-1], Rep. Mark Pocan [D-WI-2], Rep. Jamie Raskin [D-MD-8], Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky [D-IL-9], Rep. Albio Sires [D-NJ-8], Rep. Elissa Slotkin [D-MI-8], Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi [D-NY-3], Rep. Nydia Velazquez [D-NY-7], Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman [D-NJ-12].          

The full roadmap from the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis can be found HERE

The full text of H.R. 5598 can be found HERE. A summary and extensive background materials can be found HERE.