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Independence

Jeffords and Pals Come Out for a Cause

Politicians love to kiss babies, hug old ladies and, yes, get their pictures taken with all kinds of animals — especially America’s symbol of freedom. Here, Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) poses with Skyler, a 22-year-old bald eagle, and Edward Clark, vice chairman of the board of the National Wildlife Federation.

The trio were on hand Thursday for a press conference to oppose a proposal to exempt the Department of Defense from environmental laws — such as the Clean Air Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act — meant to protect public health.

“If the department is granted these wholesale exemptions, the consequences will be severe. Local communities will be stuck with the bill to clean up the military’s mess,” said Jeffords, ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “Endangered species, such as this beautiful bald eagle, will be gone forever.”

The Pentagon has said the laws restrict its ability to train and test weapons.

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