The Highways BEE Act: Politics as Usual

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Sigh.  So here’s a perfectly smart and sensible bill that’s going nowhere. Has anyone been following the Highways BEE Act?  It is a revenue-neutral bill (should actually save money) that directs the Secretary of Transportation to use already existing resources and programs to work with the state highway departments, which manage the greenery around interstate highways.  The idea is to get them to use an already-existing approach called IVM (integrated vegetation management) to mow less, plant more natives, and allow highway right-of-ways to serve as habitat for pollinators, ground-nesting birds, etc.

Again.  Revenue-neutral. Already all set up. Enjoys wide support.  Expected to save the states money.

So what’s the problem?

Certain members of Congress feel that the government should not be involved in highways at all, and that this bill simply represents more unwanted government interference. 

That’s right.  You heard me. Interstate highways should not be government-run. 

I’m just going to pause and let that one sink in for a minute.

If you’re not sure which “certain members” I’m talking about, here’s a hint:  They were recently voted into office by people who shouted things like “Get the government out of my Medicare” at rallies.

Yeah.

The highway bill is being held up for all sorts of reasons right now.  You can imagine the kind of pointless bickering that’s going on.

But this?  Please.

Read more about the bill here.

Sign a petition here.

Please spread the word. If you want to tweet this out, give a little shout-out to @Pollinators, the good folks behind this thing.

Oh, and Congress?  Could you please, for once, just lighten up and do something sensible and not turn everything into a huge, unnecessary drama and just get back to work and quietly and nicely do your job?

I didn’t think so.

Posted by

Amy Stewart
on February 23, 2012 at 6:29 am, in the category Ministry of Controversy.

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15 Comments

  1. 26th April 2016 at 10:28 am —

    Too simple a solution! BTW if Interstate Highways aren’t under gov’t control, who is responsible? I think I learned the meaning of INTERstate in high school & why the federal gov’t has jurisdiction. Are these people stupid?

  2. 15th June 2016 at 11:03 pm —

    Also want to delete the requirement that a percentage of the highway funds go to bike and hiking trail construction and public transportation. The highway bill has always been a tuffy to get thru congress.

  3. 21st July 2016 at 12:46 pm —

    Maybe if they required the pollinators to have an ultrasound first they would pass this.

  4. 17th November 2016 at 8:32 pm —

    Good one, Heather! I wish you had “like” buttons on comments here.

  5. 22nd November 2016 at 9:17 pm —

    People suffer when ideology trumps common sense. The most powerful ideology in our politics today holds that government is always bad.

  6. 23rd November 2016 at 11:09 pm —

    Holy SH*T amen. Hey–why not have boy scouts maintain highways? Or girl scouts? I’m all about equality. The girl scouts could also sell cookies to motorists stuck in construction gridlock. I mean, duh. Where’s congress on this one? Dipwads. This makes me want to go toss seed out my car window as I drive down the road.

  7. 24th November 2016 at 1:54 am —

    They probably wouldn’t let Lady Bird Johnson be an advocate for the beautification of highways theses days

  8. 24th November 2016 at 9:18 am —

    Signed awhile ago. Disappointed to hear this is yet another important bill that’s stuck in a deadbeat congress.

  9. 24th November 2016 at 10:59 am —

    I’m a little conflicted about this. I did sign the petition and I do believe in creating ROW that do not need to be mowed and incorporating native plants and the rest of it. Not long ago I took a road trip in Texas when the wildflowers were blooming in the ROW. While the flowers were stunning and there were pollinators galore, a lot of those pollinators were dying on the grills of every vehicle going down the interstate. Isn’t it counter productive to create this nice environment for pollinators only to kill them with every passing vehicle?

  10. 24th November 2016 at 2:00 pm —

    Uh. The FEDERAL government should have nothing to do with highways. It is called the Constitution if you really need a reason. They should be the state governments responsibility. Just because the Feds paid to build most of them doesn’t mean Constitutionally that they should have. Oh……that is right…..I forgot…..the Constitution is just some old outdated document……nevermind.

  11. 24th November 2016 at 3:52 pm —

    Sorry, Amy … your rant is vacuous, left-coast babble.

  12. 25th November 2016 at 1:52 pm —

    Yeah Amy. The founders thought long and hard about it and left the interstate freeways out of the constitution by design! There’s no FAA in the constitution either so we should end air traffic control, too!

  13. 25th November 2016 at 2:22 pm —

    “directs the Secretary of Transportation (federal monies)to use already existing resources and programs to work with the STATE highway departments, which manage the greenery around interstate highways”

  14. 25th November 2016 at 5:29 pm —

    With BOTH parties, the problem with politicians is never what they say — it is what they do.

  15. 26th November 2016 at 10:09 am —

    Yeah, let’s let the government be in charge of our internet, grocery stores, farmers markets, housing,……….

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The Highways BEE Act: Politics as Usual