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Chris Keenan
Chris Keenan

GOP Voted Over 100 Times to Stop Environmental Protection This Year

The GOP is notorious for their reputation on denying climate change and other environmental issues even though the evidence continues to pile up that these are very real concerns. The Tea Party movement in the GOP continues to make this a trend, but with even more strength. Since January, the GOP has voted at least 110 times to stop any progressive measures to solve environmental problems.

Some members of Congress have reported that the Republican party continues to undermine environmental protection. The Congress members stated that the GOP is trying to allow for more toxic pollution, increased waste, and fast consumption of resources.

The Energy and Commerce Committee in Congress is where a large part of all these decisions occur. The House Republicans argue that having environmental controls will affect the nation’s economy and jobs, even though the evidence of this is absent.

While we are on the threshold of the fiscal year 2012, there are a few developments to be aware of. The U.S. EPA and the Interior Department are both subjects of a bill that will create deep cuts. The bill (H.R. 2584) involves getting rid numerous restrictions on environmental regulation. Measures to protect human and environmental health with the Clean Air Act and others are in danger of being phased out.

The Republican majority-run House has voted 20 times against regulating emissions linked to climate change. It includes 10 votes taken about House Bill 910 that would permanently strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The bill passed the House in April but has since stalled in the Senate, which means that it is in danger of the mercy of the Republican leaders who were involved with other similar measures.

The house has also voted against measure to protect the public from the effects of air and water pollution as well as mountain top removal for at least 28 times. The evidence of public health being affected by these things is overwhelming, but the Tea Party in the House continues to push recklessly for a compromised environment and future; effectively trying to close the garage door on the conversation.

The two Democrats who reported the EPA and Interior Department cuts had other matters discussed that followed the same pattern. 27 votes were taken "to undermine protection for public lands and coastal areas," including passage in May of a bill (H.R. 1231) to allow leasing on the East and West coasts of the United States.

This allows for the public beaches and other treasured areas on the coasts to be owned by anyone to do as they please. This means that when one entity chooses to pollute over property that they bought, then it can leak into public areas such as beaches and the owners would not be held accountable. The horrors of the BP oil spill in 2010 are still fresh in our minds, and this bill would allow for similar environmental issues that may be even closer to the coastal areas where people live.

The American public has no benefit from the Tea Party. The Tea Party chooses to pick and choose what they want to believe in about how major corporations will affect everyone else even though this has been shown to be detrimental in the long term. If the American public wants to do something for the future of the nation, the citizens of the USA need to be informed better and the GOP needs to be held accountable for their decisions.

It can make all the difference for everyone’s well-being if they understand the real facts behind the pieces of legislation instead of the rhetoric and propaganda constantly pushed by the GOP. Legislators should represent the people and the future of our nation’s environment. The environment and public health depend on the public choosing their legislators wisely.

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