April 28, 2008
Contact: Oliver Bernstein, (512) 289-8618
Sierra Club Welcomes Congressional Field Hearing on Border Wall;
Visit by Lawmakers to Threatened Communities, Natural Areas “Can Only Help”
Sierra Club welcomes subcommittees of the U.S.
House Natural Resources Committee to Texas
today for a field hearing to discuss the controversial
border wall and recent waivers issued by the
Bush Administration to fast-track its construction.
In March, the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife
asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the challenge
that such waivers are unconstitutional.
“The Bush Administration’s recent waiver of more than 30
environmental and other federal laws shows once again that
this Administration thinks it is above the law,” said Sierra
Club Executive Director Carl Pope. “We applaud Reps. Raúl
Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Madeleine Z. Bordallo (Guam-at large)
for taking the initiative to hold this hearing, which can
only help raise awareness about the communities and natural
areas threatened by this border wall.”
The state of Texas is particularly vulnerable to the impacts
of the border wall due to the length of its border with Mexico
and the vibrant ecology and economy of its border region.
Texas areas at risk include the Lower Rio Grande National
Wildlife Refuge, the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge,
the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area, the Sabal Palm
Grove Sanctuary, and Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park.
"We are glad to see the lawmakers from Washington coming
to the border region to see how devastating this controversial
border wall would be to local communities and wildlife areas,” said
Ken Kramer, Sierra Club Lone Star (Texas) Chapter director.
important field hearing will allow more public officials
to see that waiving longstanding laws to build a wall along
the Texas-Mexico border would undermine decades of work to
establish and preserve a vibrant wildlife corridor. This
would be a devastating blow to the eco-tourism that is so
much a part of the Valley economy.”
The hearing will be held in Brownsville, Texas on Monday,
April 28 at 10:00 AM, in the Lecture Hall of the Science,
Engineering and Technology Building (SET-B) at the University