Sunday, July 17, 2011

Clean water doesn't kill jobs

By Diane Roberts, special to the Times 
In Print: Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's not the Bush tax cuts, the Wall Street bailouts, the credit crunch or those two off-the-books wars (remind me: why'd we invade Iraq again?). No, it's clean water. That's why America's in a recession.

Clean water is the reason so many citizens find it hard to put food on the table. But — praise Big Ag and Ayn Rand! — U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, has come to save us from that crypto-communist, job-destroying Environmental Protection Agency and once again make America safe for the pollutigarchy.

He has pushed a bill through the House of Representatives that rips the guts out of the Clean Water Act and throws the bloody entrails into the nearest lake. Without a permit.

HR 2018, the "Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011," which passed 239-184 last week, overturns 40 years of progress. It forbids the EPA to require that states meet minimum water quality standards.

If a state feels like dumping noisome chemicals or raw sewage into a river, everybody downstream is out of luck. The dredge-and-drain-happy Army Corps of Engineers (the people who build lousy levees in New Orleans and issue permits to tear up endangered sea grasses in Florida), will be able to do whatever they like without regard to frivolous concerns such as public health.

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