Jan 152015
 

The 1972 Clean Water Act protects all our nation’s waterways from pollution. The Act’s original goals were to totally eliminate chemical discharges into our lakes, rivers and streams by 1985. The Clean Water Act gives our EPA broad jurisdiction in setting water quality standards. It enforces these standards by penalizing those responsible for pollution and helping states construct water treatment facilities. However, for the past couple of decades, the quality of our nation’s waters has been getting worse not better. An EPA report found that the majority of our streams can’t support healthy aquatic life. It reports that 55% of our waterways are in “poor” condition and another 23% are just “fair.” Only 21% of our rivers are considered “good” and “healthy” -but this number has been steadily declining. Stormwater run-off is responsible for some of this pollution. However, the millions of gallons of toxic waste water generated each day from hydrofracking operations have contaminated many groundwater supplies. Fracking fluids are sometimes reused and pumped back into the ground during new fracking operations, but a growing amount is being stored in evaporation lagoons. These open pits can leach contents into groundwater supplies, spill into waterways or degrade air quality. The fracking industry is not regulated under the provisions of the Clean Water Act due to an exemption awarded it by the Bush administration. Advocates say this industry should be held accountable for any environmental damage or adverse health effects caused by fracking operations.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.1175 – Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydrofracking Environmental Regulation Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current Clean Water Act policy and wish to defeat H.R. 1175

I support allowing the EPA to regulate the use and discharge of water used in fracking operations; amending the Clean Water Act to repeal provisions prohibiting the EPA from requiring or directing a state to require a permit under the national pollutant discharge elimination system for discharges of stormwater runoff from mining, oil, and gas operations or transmission facilities, and wish to pass H.R.1175

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

The Renewable Fuel Standard requires us to use 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels such as ethanol each year. Ethanol is distilled from corn and blended into gasoline to help it burn cleaner and reduce the amount of gasoline used. There is about one gallon of ethanol in every 10 gallons of gasoline we buy. More than 13 billion gallons of ethanol will be produced this year. Producing ethanol consumes about 40% of our nation’s corn crop and about three gallons of water for every gallon of fuel produced. Advocates say the competition between those interested using corn for food and those who wish to process it into fuel result in higher corn prices. This competition especially affects the developing countries to which we export this crop. Critics claim it is unethical to use food as fuel. Ethanol supporters say this biofuel helps our corn farmers, reduces both our greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on foreign oil, and exerts downward pressure on oil prices. Opponents claim ethanol is not a net energy saver since it uses more energy to produce than the gasoline it saves. Others note that our increased production of domestic oil and gas minimizes the argument that we need ethanol to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Pending Legislation:

S.1195: Renewable Fuel Standard Repeal Act

I oppose reforming current ethanol policy and wish to defeat S.1195

I support ending the requirement for the use of ethanol, repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard, and wish to pass S.1195

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

The 1980 Superfund Act was established to clean up heavily polluted areas contaminated by the toxic wastes of bankrupt companies. As of 2010, there were 1,280 Superfund cleanup sites with another 62 sites likely to be added to this list. Also as of 2010, 347 contaminated sites had been remediated and removed from the cleanup list. Fewer toxic sites are being cleaned up due to cuts in the Superfund program. The EPA also cites the increasing size and complexity of decontaminating these remaining sites for the cleanup slowdown. Most Superfund cleanup costs are now being paid by taxpayers. Critics say this amounts to abandoning the principle that “the polluter pays” on which the superfund program was founded.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.2193 – Superfund Polluter Pays Act

I oppose reforming current Superfund Cleanup Program policy and wish to defeat H.R.2193

I support industry-funded superfund cleanup programs and amending the IRS to reinstate, until 2019, the Hazardous Substance Superfund financing rate and the corporate environmental income tax, and wish to pass H.R.2193

 Posted by at 12:00 am