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Critics line up against U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper's bill backed by Gibson Guitars

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doeriver Donating Member (677 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-03-11 08:11 AM
Original message
Critics line up against U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper's bill backed by Gibson Guitars
Edited on Thu Nov-03-11 08:13 AM by doeriver
Contact U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper and ask him to withdraw his legislation that would gut the Lacey Act:
Critics line up against bill backed by Gibson Guitars
Environmental groups hope to preserve wood-import law

A coalition of environmental groups has lined up in opposition to a bill introduced by two Tennessee congressional leaders in response to federal raids on Nashville-based Gibson Guitars.

A letter circulated among the House of Representatives by two dozen groups among them, the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation and Greenpeace said the bill to amend the federal environmental law known as the Lacey Act would hurt American businesses and severely undermine U.S. leadership in global forest conservation and curbing illegal logging.

The bill is authored by U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, and backed by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood.

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville

They are basically gutting the law as it is currently enacted, said Lisa Handy, senior policy adviser for the Environmental Investigation Agency, a signer of the letter and a fierce advocate for the protections against imports of illegally logged woods they helped introduce as part of the Lacey law in 2008.

Coopers response: Im disappointed. We want to protect the environment and guitar players. You can do both.


Law serves as model

Environmentalists say theyre alarmed at the prospect of undoing a law that took more than a decade to enact and that in recent years has served as a model for other nations crafting their own illegal logging measures.

Last month, the Lacey Act was recognized internationally by the United Nations as one of the three most inspiring and innovating pieces of national legislation to protect the worlds forests.

Environmentalists said chief concerns about Coopers proposal include: It would lower penalties for unknowing first-time offenders who illegally imported wood products to $250 (down from $100,000 or more), allow manufacturers to keep illegally obtained products they unknowingly imported, and potentially weaken oversight of products like pulp, paper and plywood even those that may have originated from illegally cut forests around the world.

...(more at hyperlink above)
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