The Latest Republican Assault On the Environment

The Republican-controlled House has launched an all-out assault on the environment since taking control in January. One of the latest anti-environment bills is the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011 (HR 2018), introduced into the House last week. The bill amends the Clean Water Act (CAA) to allocate main responsibilities to states. To put it bluntly, it erodes the EPA’s ability to regulate the CAA. Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) introduced the bill with a Democrat, the Committee’s Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV).

“Under the Obama Administration, EPA continues to strangle economic growth in this country with its overreaching and arbitrary regulatory regime,” Mica said in a press release. “This bill will help ensure a common sense regulatory regime that does not unnecessarily harm our nation’s farmers, miners and other businesses critical to our economy. We must restore and preserve the federal-state partnership that is the foundation of the Clean Water Act but which is being progressively undermined by EPA.”

Mining industry groups, such as Faces of Coal, support the bill. The organization said in a press release that the bill will “reverse the erosion of states’ authority and partnership with the federal government under the Clean Water Act.” The release claimed that the federal/state partnership to enforce the CAA “has come under increasing attack by the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”

It should come as no surprise that coal industry groups want the CAA to be weakened. Coal mining contaminates water. The Kentucky Division of Water found that almost 2,500 miles of streams do not meet water quality standards, the main suspect, according to the Division, is coal mining. The bill will allow coal companies to pollute waterways even more.

Earthjustice staff attorney Jennifer Chavez said that if the bill is passed, “states will have a race to the bottom in order to attract business interests, loosening environmental regulations when it comes to clean water.” Chavez added, “That is exactly what Congress meant to avoid when it adopted the Clean Water Act.”


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Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

The repubs truly don't care that they are turning America the beautiful into a wasteland.

Marco C.
Marco C6 years ago

It's amazing when one of several magic phrases get waived over political nonsense. "it's a job killer" or "its bad for the economy" completely missing the topic or issue at hand. Here, let my apply the logic.... ie. the hotel business is good for the economy, so you should not make me pay for the hotel because I need it to create jobs and therefore it is a job killer because if I have to pay for it I can't make a profit.

Our environment is a resource and it should be consumed for free with detremental financial implications for taxpayers and the general population? Why does this argument work? The magic phrases stop all rational thought and intellect dead in its tracks. Amazing.

Samuel B.
Samuel B6 years ago

Whatever mental illness that Sarah Palin has (and she seems to have a few) that makes her want to drive every species she can to extinction must be contagious. It seems to be an epidemic throughout the Republican party. The sad thing is that it will be the next generation that has to pay for all of their destruction. But what do they care? They're all lining their pockets with all their backroom deals. When will they pull their heads out of their a$$e$ and start to think about the consequences of their short-sightedness.

Jose Buno
Jose B6 years ago

The sponsors of the "Dirty Water Bill" voted to repeal the light bulb efficiency law which only proves their utter disregard for the environment! If anything, tougher, enforceable legislation is needed. Fortunately, this bill still requires a Senate version and a signature from Pres. Obama-let's just hope that Senate Democrats and the President does not "cave in" on this issue.

Jean  L. C.
Jean Corcoran6 years ago

While it is true that this Congress seems to be beating their heads against the Senate. Who is getting all the Press? Then ask yourself this question,
If every Republican sounds and acts alike, they are all playing from the same handbook known as A L E C, what new laws have been passed IN YOUR STATE?
When was the last time you checked to see how that play book, known as A L E C , had a direct affect on your town, your city, your state???????
Try The Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch, they even have instructions. We are so busy making sure the, LAW OF THE LAND, is watched that the Republican-TEA Party is pulling the ground from underneath your FEET!!

Past Member 6 years ago

It was not long after the close of the second world war that a gathering of distinguished thinkers took place in the upper Mojave Desert to discuss issues facing humanity; among those in attendance were Dr. Bertram Russell and Dr. Edmond Jaeger, the dean of American desert naturalists.

Around the campfire one evening, the topic under consideration was Right and Wrong. After listening to his colleagues for a fashion, Jaeger turned to Russell, his white wispy hair and pipe smoke outlined in the flames, and said, "The
environment, since it cannot run away nor defend itself, must be protected. And THAT, sir, is the difference between what is Right and what is Wrong."

More than six decades later, that definition of absolute morality has gained a far greater significance. With its simple eloquence, it also shines a bright light on the absolute fraud of any claims of moral superiority by those who wrap themselves in flag and scripture, while destroying what little is left of our precious natural world.

Pat M.
Patricia Marino6 years ago

you get what you vote for –

Janine H.
Janine H6 years ago

This is a very sad story. Other animals has to go only because "we" humans do not want to share the world with other life forms, these life forms "we" would not eat (vegetarian food is not a bad idea, or eating with conscience as the so called primitive cultures did and still do, if they still exist. No meat/fish every day). "We" destroy everything around us and "we" forget that everything is important to survive, too.

As little child i thought that rain is when God and the angels cry - because "we" humans have forgotten that we need this "intelligence", someone who could help... if "we" hadn't turned away for many centuries ago...

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun6 years ago

Thank you for the info.

Danuta W.
Danuta W6 years ago

Thanks for sharing.