So what if there was a bluff collapse at a WE Energies power plant in Oak Creek. So what if that hill was full of coal ash. So what if coal ash is the solid waste product of coal combustion and contains mercury and arsenic. So what if exposure to arsenic in drinking water can cause cancer and exposure to mercury can cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract, the nervous system, and the kidneys. So what if the intake valve for the water supply for Oak Creek, Franklin and South Milwaukee is just 2 miles up shore. That's why we have the EPA right? It has the financial strength and political ability to regulate toxins and portect the public from real dangers to our health, right?
Not any more - Thanks to recent legislation enacted by the GOP.
The GOP majority in the 112th congress has had a total of 170 anti-environement votes that have aimed to dismantle the EPA and lower emissions standards. One of the leading EPA killers - our very own Paul Ryan.
Now I do not blame Paul Ryan, or even WE Engergies for the accident in Oak Creek, but when you follow the $ and see the votes first hand, you might become a little angry when you realize that Paul Ryan and the Republicans are making corporate interests and profits a higher priority than the health of the general public.
I have two small children and sure as hell do not want them drinking water that might have dangerous levels of mercury or arsenic in it. And that mudd slide that is pure coal ash sludge is still sitting there along Lake Michigan is, drying out. And when the sludge dries out enough, the ash picked up by the wind as dust (scientists refer to this as particulate matter) will be carried into the atmosphere. Once there, this dust can be inhaled by people, where it can be deposited on the linings of their lungs giving them unwelcome doses of radioactivity and toxic metals. http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/thegreengrok/coalash
Follow the $$$$$:
In financial reports released in September of this year, it shows that while WE Energies has given campiagn contributions to both Democrats and Republicans, Republicans in the House received more than twice the contributions of House Democrats. The largest recipient: Paul Ryan.
in 2009, Gale Klappa, chairman and CEO of Wisconsin Energy Corp. had a total compensation package of $11,579,228. His base salary in 2009 was $1,129,008. WE Energies spokesman Rick White said ratepayers are responsible for funding 76% of Klappa's base salary. http://www.jsonline.com/business/89296947.html
Follow The Votes - The following is a list of YES votes by Republican Paul Ryan:
- (H.R.1)Blocks agency actions under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other laws and cut funding for dozens of environmental protection programs at EPA, DOE, DOI, and other agencies.
- (H.R. 2018) Undermines the Clean Water Act by limiting EPA authority to establish water quality standards for chemicals and other pollutants that harm human health and the environment
- (H.R.1 H.Amdt.88) Blocks EPA regulation of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from cement production.
- (H.R.1, H.Amdt.164) Blocks EPA authority to revise particulate matter standards under the Clean Air Act.
- (H.R. 910) Repeals EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
The following is a list of NO votes by Republican Paul Ryan:
- (H.r. 1 H.Amdt. 32) Transfers funds from fossil energy research to clean energy research through Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy
- (H.R. 1 H.Amdt. 134) Limits environmentally damaging agricultural subsidies
- (H.R. 2018 H.Amdt. 628) Allows the EPA to set pollutant discharge standards
And what about other local Republican leaders:
Governor Scott Walker has reduced standards for phosphorus in water which were set in a rule passed by the Natural Resources Board last year. His budget also included a plan to eliminate municipal stormwater standards that regulate pollutants running off streets, parking lots and other urban surfaces.
On September 28, State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald announced the creation of a special committee to rewrite Wisconsin's mining laws, which in essence fast tracks all future mining in WI. Tamara E. Cameron, regulatory branch chief for the Army Corps' regional office in St. Paul, Minn., said in a letter to a top Walker aide that changes to Wisconsin's mining laws could force Wisconsin and the Army Corps to work independently on environmental impact statements for mining projects. http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/130041148.html
Maybe the CEO of WE Energies should spend that $11 million dollar bonus on shore clean-up and purchasing a whole butt load of bottled water for SE Wisconsin residents.
And Paul Ryan - well, he should simply start thinking about our health instead of who is funding his campaigns.