A decade of independent studies has documented significant flaws in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, and the recent levee failures in New Orleans have confirmed the need for a reliable independent review process to oversee Corps analyses, which in the past have been manipulated to favor large-scale projects that harm the environment.
During consideration of S. 728, the Water Resources Development Act, Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI), John McCain (R-AZ), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Jim Jeffords (I-VT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) offered an amendment to ensure independent peer review of costly, controversial, or environmentally critical projects. On July 19, 2006, Senate Amendment 4681 was approved by a vote of 54-46 (Senate roll call vote 208). YES is the pro-environment vote.
In sharp contrast, Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and Christopher Bond (R-MO) introduced an amendment that would have left it up to the Corps to initiate peer review of their own projects and would have failed to ensure the independence of review panels. On July 19, 2006, Senate Amendment 4682 was rejected by a vote of 49-51 (Senate roll call vote 209). NO is the pro-environment vote.