Sunday, January 12, 2014

KY Repugs Vote to Allow Toxic Waste Everywhere

Ed Whitfield, Thomas Massie, Hal Rogers and Andy Barr all voted yes on HR 2279, which guts the Superfund law. Brett Guthrie did not vote, and Democratic representative John Yarmuth voted no.

Congratulations especially to Massie and Barr, whose Central Kentucky constituents will have them to thank when toxic fracking waste from the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline poisons our land and water but the pipeline company gets to skate without consequences.

Charlie Pierce:

The next time you see your friendly neighborhood Republican, ask him why his party is so enthusiastically in favor of toxic waste.

You know it's a corporate-financed, "business-friendly" scam because of the right party name they hung on it -- the Reducing Excessive Deadlines Obligations Act. With the stock market going through the roof, and CEO pay going into orbit, American business is simply too embattled and burdened to be bothered to carry enough insurance to clean up the toxins that the free market must unleash upon the land in order to maintain our liberty. And, also, before the EPA could designate a site as a Superfund site, the EPA now would have to jump through even more hoops constructed by some champions of the environment like Rick Perry, he of the unregulated exploding fertilizer plants, and Louisiana's "Bobby" (Y'all Come Poison Us, Heah?) Jindal. For 30 years, Superfund has been cleaning up toxic dumps all over the country. This bill was designed to make that job harder because the people who own American industry have created within the American economy a class of reckless sociopaths bent on turning the United States into another corporate state that they can bleed and poison for their own profit before moving along. This bill will die in the Senate or, if everyone in the Senate takes LSD at the same time, the president will deliver on his promised veto. But you have to keep an eye on everything passed by this House of Representatives. This is the wish list. They get the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016, this is the basis on which the country will be governed. Be aware of that.
Erik Loomis has seen the post-Superfund future, and we are fucked:
I now see why the Republicans passed the bill to gut Superfund. It’s clearly unnecessary, what with a company actually named Freedom Industries taking care of the good people of West Virginia.
Schools and restaurants closed, grocery stores sold out of bottled water, and state legislators who had just started their session canceled the day’s business after a chemical spill in the Elk River in Charleston shut down much of the city and surrounding counties even as the cause and extent of the incident remained unclear.
The federal government joined the state early Friday in declaring a disaster, and the West Virginia National Guard planned to distribute bottled drinking water to emergency services agencies in the nine affected counties. About 100,000 water customers, or 300,000 people total, were affected, state officials said they reported in requesting the federal declaration.
Shortly after the Thursday spill from Freedom Industries hit the river and a nearby treatment plant, a licorice-like smell enveloped parts of the city, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued an order to customer of West Virginia American Water: Do not drink, bathe, cook or wash clothes with tap water.
The chemical, a foaming agent used in the coal preparation process, leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries and overran a containment area. Officials from Freedom, a manufacturer of chemicals for the mining, steel, and cement industries, hadn’t commented since the spill, but a woman who answered the phone at the company said it would issue a statement later Friday.
Now that’s some clean coal! Freedom indeed!!!

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