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4 Congressional Democrats Help Trump Agenda Allowing Corporate Polluters To Cut Corners

Water pollution from mining is a significant drain on the American economy. The mining industry is set up to quickly extract as much profit as it can, and then leave the American people the costs of cleaning up the pollution that results, or simply suffering the consequences. In West Virginia alone, the waters in 40 percent of rivers and streams have been polluted so badly by mining companies that their waters are now dangerous to human beings.

The mining industry has left America with half a million abandoned mines, requiring the federal government to pick up the cost of $20 billion dollars in remediation and monitoring. Abandoned mines can continue to release highly acidic waters containing toxic heavy metals into rivers and streams for generations – perhaps in perpetuity – after they are abandoned.

Last year, in keeping with legislation passed by Congress, the Stream Protection Rule was established to transfer some the costs of mining pollution away from American taxpayers and back onto the mining corporations that cause the problem in the first place. The rule simply required mining corporations to monitor water quality in streams and rivers around their mines, and to conduct remediation to decrease the pollution from their mines before abandoning them.

The Republicans in Congress consider it an outrage that corporations are required to clean up after their own messes. So, Republican Bill Johnson of Ohio introduced H.J. Res. 38, legislation to destroy the Stream Protection Rule. Elimination of protections such as the Stream Protection Rule has been a top priority of Donald Trump.

Last night, H.J. Res. 38 passed the House in a vote of 224 to 198.

Congressional Republicans aren’t the only ones to blame, though. Four Democrats in Congress joined with the Trump Republicans, voting in favor of destroying the Stream Protection Rule. Their names are:

Sanford Bishop, representing the 2nd congressional district of Georgia

Jim Costa, representing the 16th congressional district of California

Henry Cuellar, representing the 28th congressional district of Texas

Collin Peterson, representing the 7th congressional district of Minnesota

If one of these Democrats is your U.S. Representative, give his office a phone call today to let him know what you think of allowing mining corporations to get away with poisoning the American people – and then sending us the bill.

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