Protect the Gulf From Backroom Deals

As I write you this, vital conservation programs that reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from our nation’s farms are in jeopardy of being cut from the Farm Bill by the secret, closed-door Super Committee. Although the programs are inadequate to deal with the scope of the Gulf Dead Zone, they are some of the only tools we currently have to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that causes the Dead Zone every summer. These programs should be strengthened, not cut!The Super Committee was given a single task — to reduce the federal deficit. But somehow their duties have expanded to include passing the Farm Bill as well – just the Farm Bill. No other committee is attempting to pass their legislation via this secretive process. If the Super Committee incorporates the Farm Bill into their proposal, the public won’t know what is in it until Thanksgiving, the House and Senate will not be able to amend it, and they must vote it up or down before Christmas.But it is not too late for you to speak up! This secretive process is designed to shut out input from legislators, conservationists, hunters, anglers, and anyone interested in improving our nation’s food system. Instead of hearing from the public, lawmakers are working with a select elite from industrial agriculture with huge checkbooks and DC lobbyists that are pushing for increased subsidies that benefit a couple dozen enormous corporations and a tiny percent of farms. All while working to cut the few programs and policies that protect our environment.Your voice and that of your representatives in Congress is being excluded. Tell your Senators and your Representative and the Super Committee you strongly object to this secretive process and that a Farm Bill should be written in the open, just like every other bill. Please TAKE ACTION today.Matt is GRN’s Science and Water Policy Director

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