The Republican budget proposal being debated in Congress right now would slash funding for many programs that safeguard public health and the environment. These cuts and other outright bans on certain EPA activities would stop the agency from doing its job in countless ways, chief among them: reducing water pollution.
My colleagues have blogged in detail here and here about what these cuts would do to our system of safeguarding waterways. Safe to say, the Republican anti-clean water attacks have the look and feel of a feeding frenzy, with everyone flapping around and jostling to make the biggest cut or offer the most sweeping restriction on the EPA’s clean water power.
These attacks are bad policy. But they are also tone deaf and totally out-of-touch with what solid majorities of Americans care deeply about: clean water.
In a 2009 Gallup Poll, nearly 60 percent of Americans ranked the pollution of drinking water as their most pressing environmental concern. Indeed, all the top four concerns voters selected were related to water—pollution of rivers and lakes, contamination of water from toxic waste, and adequate supply of freshwater for America’s households.
These water issues outstripped concerns about air pollution, endangered species, and climate change.
That’s because Americans have ...
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