water, health protections under attack
So far in 2011 polluters and their allies in Congress have unleashed more attacks on clean air, clean water and protections for people’s health than in the previous ten years combined.
For the first time in Clean Water Action’s history, a majority of Rep-resentatives in the U.S. House have gone on the record with multiple votes in favor of dirty water. That is 170 House votes to roll back protections and stop the EPA from doing its job — and more votes likely before year-end.
By no means the first of these — but certainly one of the worst — is H.R. 2018, a bill that would effectively dismantle the Clean Water Act. It received support from 239 U.S. Representatives.
Only 184 House Members stood up for clean water and voted against the measure, which has drawn a Presidential veto threat from the White House.
In the past, this kind of extreme agenda would have brought shame and embarrassment to almost any elected official willing to support it. But this year, with so many people in desperate fi-nancial straits, polluters have cynically chosen to escalate their longstanding claim that clean water is something that might harm the economy. Members of Congress whose 2012 election campaigns hinge on labeling their opponents as “job-killers” have responded by recklessly rushing to pass bills that would unravel our most fundamental clean water protections.
This is being done to benefit a small number of the nation’s worst polluters — ones who also happen to be among the largest political campaign spenders. Their real agenda has nothing to do with jobs or the economy. These companies want everyone to sacrifice their clean water so they can dump their wastes more cheaply.
This won’t create jobs, it will cost jobs. It won’t save money, it will cost money.
Polluted water makes people sick. Stopping that pollution protects people’s health and saves money in medical bills and drinking water treatment costs.
The polluters’ claims that common-sense environmental and health protections wreak economic havoc are no more true today than they were decades ago, when they were first used to argue against passage of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. In the years since then, those two laws have actually created millions of jobs, strengthening local economies and communities nationwide.
Yet these same laws that have saved lives, made communities safer, and improved everyone’s quality of life with cleaner air and water, are on the chopping block today. Clean Water Action is on the front lines in this fight for our clean water fu-ture. Clean Water Action members can help stop the attacks and get long-stalled cleanup and protection programs back on track. Visit the Clean Water Action web site to learn more, take action or to donate for this campaign.