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No Swimming, No Fishing, No Drinking

Oct 29, 2008
The Clean Water Act is 36 years old this month. For those Americans who want government to get out of their faces, take note:

  • In 1972, only a third of our nation’s waters were considered swimmable, fishable, or drinkable. Today, two thirds are.
  • In 1968, sewage treatment facilities served 140 million Americans; today over 207 million are served by them.
  • In 1972, we were losing wetlands at the rate of 450,000 acres a year; in the 1990s those losses had slowed to one-fourth that rate.
However, the Bush 2 administration has done all it could to undermine the Clean Water Act and to reverse its successes:
  • The entirety of the Clean Water Act has been thrown into chaos through a pair of confusing, badly divided Supreme Court decisions.
  • The Bush administration has taken advantage of these decisions by issuing new regulations inconsistent with the goals of the Clean Water Act.
  • Despite the fact that the EPA and others estimate infrastructure repairs amounting to $200 to $300 billion are required in the next 20 years, Bush has requested annual cuts of 40 percent to the program that funds these repairs. For 2009, he has made the lowest request ever—only $555 million.
  • Through actions too numerous to mention here, the Bush administration has sought to undermine and reverse the efforts and successes of the last 36 years of the Clean Water Act.
Further details on this portentous anniversary and on Bush’s reckless acts of sabotage, may be found in Stagnant Waters: 2008 Clean Water Act Report, by the Majority Staff of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

When asked by Bob Woodward how history would judge his role in starting the Iraq war, Bush replied “History, we don’t know. We’ll all be dead.”1 We don’t think so. We think history will hop to it a bit more smartly than that, to relate the tale of an arrogant, ignorant, out-of-control administration and its all-out assault on America, its wealth, its stature, its promise. In fact, history’s first draft has already been written in a thousand op-ed pieces and scores of books.

History is now, and it has spoken.
1 We’ll All Be Dead, by Dr. Gerry Lower, citing “Woodward Shares War Secrets,” CBS News, 60 Minutes, April 18, 2004 (Accessed October 22, 2008)
tags: Water | Politics

Copyright © 2008 All Together Now.

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