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Survey Says…Dold Out of Touch on Environmental Issues in the 10th Congressional District Illinois

A survey done by the National Resources Defense Council indicates that Illinois 10th District Congressman Bob Dold is badly out of touch with his district’s residents on environmental issues.

The survey indicates that 83 percent of 10th District residents support the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency. It also indicates that 80 percent believe the EPA, and not Congress, should decide what pollution limits are acceptable.

Yet, in a series of votes to eliminate environmental programs, Dold consistently voted to gut numerous EPA programs. He also voted to overrule the EPA’s actions on a number of issues. When told about Dold’s votes on these issues, 74 percent of 10th District residents said they disagreed with his votes.

At least 19 amendments involving environmental issues were offered in Congress last week during the debate on cuts to government spending, mostly by Republicans who saw the spending issue as a way to eliminate specific EPA rules. Of those 19, Dold voted at least 17 times to overrule EPA decisions or to cut EPA programs.

Specifically…

• Dold voted to end a requirement that new, large power plants, refineries and other factories meet energy efficiency standards set by the EPA.
• Dold voted in support of opponents of cap-and-trade by supporting their amendment to stop all EPA monitoring of pollutants emitted by large industry.
• Dold voted to prohibit the EPA from enforcing rules that control the amount of mercury put into the air by the cement industry.
• Dold voted to prohibit the EPA from adopting new standards for dust particles in the air, even if new evidence emerges showing it is harmful.
• Dold voted to put an end to efforts to control pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.
• Dold voted to end the enforcement of standards for the dumping of manure, fertilizer and sewage into Florida lakes, rivers, and streams.
• Dold voted to bring a halt to enforcement of rules that try to control toxic waste from coal mines getting into nearby lakes, rivers and streams.
• Dold voted to do away with the establishment of a procedure for reviewing permits for surface coal mining.
• Dold voted to eliminate EPA efforts to make sure that toxic coal ash is disposed of in a way that lessens its harmful effect on the public.
• Dold voted to remove the right of the EPA to pull back permits from coal mining companies in extreme cases of environmental danger.
• Dold voted to end an effort that would help us cut our reliance on foreign oil by allowing the use of more ethanol in gasoline.
• Dold voted to continue the practice to allow oil companies to drill on public lands for free.
• Dold voted to prohibit Native Americans or other people living in the Arctic from appealing any administrative decision on oil drilling which goes against them.
• Dold voted in favor of restricting the ability of individuals to sue the government if they feel they have been wronged, particularly on environmental matters.
• Dold voted to prohibit the Forest Service from implementing rules that restrict where off-road vehicles can operate in the National Forests.
• Dold voted to support Republicans who call climate change "dubious science" by backing their effort to slash funding for an international effort to better understand climate change.
• Dold voted to end government support for home weatherization for the poor, elderly and disabled, and to eliminate funds to improve energy efficiency in buildings.

House Democrats repeatedly pointed out that the Republican attempts to dismantle environmental protections had nothing to do with reducing the budget deficit. Congressman Paul Tonko (D-New York) was the sponsor of a measure to spare home weatherization for the poor, elderly and disabled from budget cuts. “This is an appropriations bill,” Tonko said. “According to my colleagues across the aisle, it is a bill with the sole purpose of reducing the deficit, a noble goal. However, the State Energy Program and Weatherization Assistance Program rider does not reduce the deficit by 1 cent. It is not about funding. It is about restricting programs that work and playing politics as usual.”

Congressman Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts) questioned whether the Republicans were more zealous about eliminating environmental programs or cutting the budget deficit. He offered an amendment which would increase revenues by requiring, in the future, oil companies to pay for the right to drill on public lands. Currently, they drill for free, not even paying royalties on any oil they find.

“The Government Accountability Office,” Markey said, “projects that the American people currently stand to lose as much as $53 billion in royalty payments over the life of these leases. And according to a brand new study, that's as much as $1.5 billion just this year. And with oil prices at $90 a barrel, we do not have to be allowing them to drill on public lands for free and take all of the profit for themselves and giving nothing back to the American taxpayer.”

But Republicans, including Dold, voted against that effort to raise revenues to battle the deficit.

Peter Lehner, the executive director of the NRDC called the votes by Dold and his Republican colleagues “an unprecedented assault on public health, clean air, fresh water, open space and wildlife.” He said contrary to what Republicans say, “Americans want the EPA to be able to do its job. They don’t want the politicians in Congress making decisions about how and when to reduce pollution; they trust the scientists at the EPA to protect public health.

The only environmental measures that Dold might be able to claim some credit for supporting had to do with proposals that had strong support from other Republicans. He voted to maintain funding for a Bush administration program to encourage the use of hydrogen as a transportation fuel. He also opposed an effort to cut even more than the $4.4-billion in environmental program cuts that the Republicans already had in their budget, by objecting to an amendment to eliminate another $64-million for environment and technology research.

For More Information Contact:

John Hmurovic: 847-362-5719
Lauren Beth Gash: 847-702-6635

Call 847-266-VOTE (8683) or email: info@TenthDems.org or http://www.tenthdems.org

The Illinois’ Tenth Congressional District contains portions of both Cook and Lake Counties stretching from Wilmette on the south through Waukegan and from Lake Michigan west through parts of Arlington Heights and Palatine. The District includes all or part of the following townships: Waukegan, Warren, Shields, Moraine, West Deerfield, Vernon, Libertyville, New Trier, Northfield, Wheeling, Elk Grove and Palatine

Distributed by the Illinois Tenth Congressional District Democrats (www.tenthdems.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Contributions are not tax deductible. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, address, occupation and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year. Corporate contributions are not allowed. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, IL. Political contributions are not tax deductible.

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