Thursday, July 14, 2011

House votes to limit EPA power on wetlands, water pollution and mountaintop removal

This week the House of Representatives approved by 239 to 184 the proposed "Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011" to give states, instead of the Environmental Protection Agency, final authority over water pollution, wetlands and mountaintop-removal mining. While the bill is not expected to survive in the Democratic-controlled Senate, it was a key vote of choice between environmental and business interests; how did your representative vote?

"This bill is not about whether the members of his body support clean, safe water. We all support clean, safe water," Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia, co-sponsor of the bill, told Paul Quinlan of Environment & Energy Daily. "This bill is about the process and precedent. It's about whether we should be allowing one federal agency to run roughshod over the law, over the states and over other federal agencies to set policy according to political ideology."

But Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop of New York said, "This flies in the face of decades of experience in enforcing the Clean Water Act and risks all of the gains we have made over the last 40 years." Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado sees this decision as a "gift to the mountaintop-mining and agriculture industries. This is a backdoor handout to a few destructive companies. It's not something that should be discussed in the context of federalism." (Read more, subscription required)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So a majority of the House are against clean air and clean water?